The last few rides I’ve done have all been down the same starting path:  south on Indianola, west on Crittenden, then south on High Street / US 23.

High Street is the north / south main road through Columbus.  (Broad Street is the east / west main road.  Where those two streets intersect is where the “direction”-based addresses change.  For example, you either live on north or south High Street or east or west Broad Street.

When I first was stationed in Ohio in 1985 I was perplexed that High Street allowed for on-street parking.  Through the Ohio State area / Short North area, one of the two lanes of High Street is taken up with on-street parking.

As a driver, that always drove me nuts.  It’s congested enough in that area.  To reduce the available road space by half was / is, in my opinion, nucking futs.

Here’s the silver lining, though:  while it drives me crazy as a driver, as a bicyclist it’s not a bad deal.  The parked cars don’t take up all the lane.  There’s a good 2.5 to 3 feet that you can ride your bike in.  Granted, you have to watch out for chowderheads who don’t look before opening their doors as they’re exiting their car after parking.  (It’s called “dooring.”  I was going to post a YouTube clip of examples, but, as a bicyclist, they’re horrifying for me to watch.)

Speaking of nucking futs, there’s another potentially lethal thing that I do when riding downtown.  Once you get into the “financial district” part of High Street, the right lane is reserved for buses.  These buses are busy stopping, loading and unloading . . . hogging the lane like the parked cars did.  Except they’re moving.  For a two to three mile stretch, there’s a half to full dozen of the lumbering beasts that you have to play tag with.

What I have to do is ride on the left side of the right lane to get around the buses.  Basically, I’m riding on the white divider line of the two lanes.  On the left of me will be a car that’s less than 2 feet away.  On the right will be a bus that’s also less than 2 feet away.  If a bus is a Saint Bernard and a car is a Rottweiler, then I’m a Chihuahua between the two.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  But, hell, I’ve ridden in downtown Manhattan before, weaving between taxis and buses and pedestrians — none of them paying attention to the traffic lights, pedestrians, or bicyclists.  Columbus Ohio should be a piece of cake, relatively speaking.   

Then again, it only takes one slight mistake or error in judging a miniscule distance . . .

Finished Cycle: May 25, 2012 7:02:24 PM
Shortened Google Maps URL: http://j.mp/KLwSDi
Ride Time: 5:08:15
Distance: 67.62 miles
Average: 13.16 mph
Fastest Speed: 42.11 mph  (What the hell?  Trust me, there’s no point I was doing 42.11 MPH on bicycle.)
Ascent: 3822 feet
Descent: 3784 feet
Calories: 4911  (“paid” for the meal stops!)