Goslings, Penn Relays, Stunt-Bike Riders, and a Tree Farm at the Museum?

If you haven’t noticed, the goslings have hatched.┬áThe first one I spotted was on Monday in the Wissahickon, and I spotted them along the Schuylkill by Wednesday. Beware: mama and papa geese get very angry if you bike near them. Expect a lot of hissing. The little cutie pies are heavily guarded, but if separated from their gaggle, they can be hard to spot, and even if you do see them and slow down, Mama and Papa Goose will likely yell at you anyway. As a protective mama myself, I feel their pain. Do be careful.

Goslings along the Schuylkill Trail, first week of May, 2012

Aside from the occasional swerve and stop to avoid the newly hatched goslings, the ride to work and back has been pretty straightforward these days with the trail along Lincoln Drive re-opened, but Penn Relays did put a bit of a twist on the commute into work at the end of the week. On my way in yesterday I was stopped no less than 5 times in Penn Park as I made my way in and was asked to show my ID. Interestingly, I mistakenly showed my husband’s ID once and the security guard didn’t blink an eye (hmmmmmm). Anyway, as a lifetime runner I do love Penn Relays, but geesh do they stop up traffic (automobile and pedestrian).

While the runners from Penn Relays will be packing their bags after tomorrow, watch out for the stunt bike kids who have been spotted again this spring underneath the bridge near the museum. Apparently they find jumping down into the middle of the crowded path quite fun sport, but I imagine the one who got an earful from my husband this week won’t be back too soon…

On a mostly unrelated (but almost as annoying) note, has anyone else noticed the recent plantings in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art northwest entrance? Is it just me, or (at least from a distance) do these planting resemble a tree farm? I realize they are not actually a tree farm, just some sort of rectangular planting of evergreen hedges with something green in the middle (I haven’t taken the time to actually stop and take a closer look). Nonetheless, would anyone with more landscape architectural sense/background care to explain what they were thinking? One of my favorite sections of my bike commute is along the museum, and they have done amazing things just in the last few years with the landscaping, but the tree farm is definitely not the highlight.


The trail is open, smashed windows and angry, abusive pedestrians!

As of today, the trail between Rittenhousetown and Forbidden Drive is now open! Construction looks complete, and the crew did a nice job of returning the trail to a better condition than before the construction. Hooray! I am so glad to have my regular commute back without the extra biking up Kitchen’s or walking along the shoulder of Lincoln Drive. The new creek wall is a bit of an eyesore–I was oddly fond of the crumbly old wall–but I’ll admit I wouldn’t have been so fond had the wall caved in and Lincoln Drive had been taken out so I’ll take it.

In other news, be careful parking in the lots along Kelly Drive. My husband and I occasionally park at the one just north of Falls Bridge when we’ve got tight work + kid pick-up days, but yesterday we were broken into between the hours of 9am – 5pm, and from the array of glass in the lot, I think this happens a lot. The thief completely smashed our back window and made out with a hospital-issued diaper bag, valued around $2, and a few diapers and half-eaten snacks (probably not what (s)he was after). We got a $470 repair. Sigh…

And lastly, a vent. The other day I was riding home along the precarious stretch of Chestnut St., from 34th to the river, when I came to a stop at the red light. Since they’ve obliterated the bike lane along the end of this stretch, I take this section of my ride pretty slowly and carefully. So, imagine my surprise when my front wheel comes to a stop a hair into the cross walk and a woman (who, by the way, had been waiting for the light to turn red while standing IN the street) starts yelling at me at the top of her lungs about how had I hit her, I could have killed her because she has a rod in her leg (and so on and so forth…I stopped listening at some point). It seemed unlikely, as she was a stout woman, and I was going about 2 miles per hour as I rolled to a stop, but I said nothing. I couldn’t help but notice several cars stopped a few FEET into the crosswalk (and I’m the one who could have killed her?). I know there are some extremely reckless cyclists out there, and yes, cyclists have killed pedestrians (it makes big news because it is rare, but it does happen), but I am not one of them, and since this type of thing has happened before (pedestrians yelling at me while I safely ride my bicycle), I wonder, do all cyclists get this abuse no matter how we ride? Do I possibly get MORE of it because I’m female and don’t look as threatening? Do somehow pedestrians who have been hit or nearly hit by some crazed, reckless rider see me the next day and decide to take their frustrations out on me because I look unlikely to respond in a violent way? Anyway, I feel sad that someone out there has given this woman a very bad perception of cyclists everywhere, but I sure wish she’d taken her frustration out elsewhere. As for me, I’ll take my frustration out here…Cycle safely out there. Don’t give us a bad rep!