Sunday, December 4, 2011
back issue #3: Schenectady: in which I realize that there are very few words that rhyme with 'Schenectady'
There once was a flood in Schenectady
That ruined my bike route inexorably
All the small roads were closed
So I rode, quite exposed
On freeways that put life in jeopardy
Hurricane Irene had caused quite a bit of flooding in upstate New York, and as I neared Schenectady the roads got worse and worse. When my planned route led to a closed road, I replanned my route...and immediately encountered another closed road. More replanning. More closed roads. Like a mouse (a very well-outfitted mouse with a smartphone) in a maze, I scurried, whiskers trembling, from dead end to blocked road to washed-out bridge. Increasingly, it seemed that all Schenectady-bound roads were either impassable or closed...except for the interstate. (Note: it is actually illegal to bike on the interstate, and for good reason). But, as the saying goes, desperate times call for foolish, life-threatening measures (or something like that). So, dusk descending, I pedaled up the on-ramp to the freeway. Battalions of distracted drivers sped past as I maneuvered through the roadkill obstacle course on the shoulder. Wind from passing semi trucks threatened to suck me into traffic. The occasional angry honk startled me nearly out of my spandex. One particularly cheery soul rolled down his window to give me a one-fingered wave. Forty adrenaline-fueled minutes later (teeth ground to nubs, eyes bugged out cartoonishly, and knuckles permanently white) I arrived in Schenectady.
It rained for most of the time I was in Schenectady. I managed to do a few sketches between cloudbursts, but mainly I stayed inside while my nerves knit themselves back together. And I saw 'Contagion'. It was okay.