Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cycling Santa 2014

The weather forecast was good for this weekend ... but that forecast was far more optimistic than the reality. I didn't have anything else to do, however, so I spent the morning test-riding a possible route for a new populaire that I plan to submit to RUSA. The route was good in that in took me to Marcy Jo's at the mid-point for a cinnamon roll and a couple of cups of coffee (and I needed the heat of that coffee by then). It was not good in that one of the roads is too busy. Back to the drawing board.

I got home just after noon, and decided to ride into Franklin for lunch. Since the "Dickens of a Christmas" celebration is there this weekend and I had put together the Santa Bike early this week, I decided to go in Holiday Garb.

I've done the Cycling Santa thing for a few years now, but for this year I bought some red tights. They don't quite match my red wool jersey, and somehow make me look fat (or maybe it's my fat that makes me look fat), but they do add that certain panache to the outfit.

I've also got new bling ... er, blink ... on the Salsa this year:

Bright red and brilliantly blinking, I took my usual route into town. On the way, there were a lot of cars heading towards Leiper's Fork for the Christmas Parade there, and lots of folks waved at me and a couple honked their horns in a nice way. Don't ask me what differentiates a "nice" honk from an obnoxious honk ... you just know.

In downtown Franklin, the celebration was in full swing. People were walking around dressed like 19th century Londoners, and one fellow was riding a penny farthing. There were food trucks and stages with singers and dancers and vendor tents with all kinds of goods. So many people had come to the festival that all of the street parking was taken up for at least one mile outside of town.

I wandered a bit, answering questions about my outfit and my bike, then grabbed a bagel sandwich and watched some kids from a local high school sing carols. One of the tents was roasting cinnamon-and-sugar coated nuts, and the smell drew me over. But the line was too long, so I moved on.

My ride back was pretty much the same as the ride in, with lots of folks waving and some kids at the skate park yelling "Merry Christmas" as I passed. The sun that was supposed to come out in the afternoon had not yet materialized, and I was fairly chilled when I finally got back home.

I love doing the Cycling Santa thing. It's fun, and it makes for a pleasantly paced ride. My hope is that it also helps to personalize cyclists to the often impatient drivers out there, so that they take a little more care in sharing the road with us.

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