I tried a new route to work this morning. I usually cut through the neighborhood and then cross 28 by Westfields before heading north on Stonecroft to 50. I decided to go straight up Stringfellow to 50 instead, just to see what it's like. I think I may start going that route (at least in the morning). I'm only "on 50" for about 3/4 of a mile (the rest of the time I'm on a path or service road). The portion where I'm on 50 was pretty lightly traveled, as most traffic at that point is heading in the opposite direction. Surprisingly enough, it only took me 20 minutes to get to work. I don't why I was surprised, as it's only 5 miles (vs. 7 miles going the "back" way). What is surprising is that's just about what it takes me to get to work by car. Traffic sucks. I wish I could ride everyday, but I don't think my schedule (or my knees) will allow me to do so.
So far this summer, my knees haven't bothered me as much as last year. After running on Sunday -- and riding -- they were a bit sore. I'm not going to push it and overdo it though; I'll get back to normal when the time is right...and no sooner.
The way home was a different story. I will NOT ride on 50 eastbound in the evening. The interchange with 28 is just too dangerous, especially before Sullyfield Circle where there's no shoulder (and immediately beyond the curb is a concrete wall topped with a split rail fence). No thanks, that's not for me.
Instead, I went around my elbow to save my thumb (and the rest of me). I bypassed the interchange by heading south on Lee Road, turning onto Willard Road (where I crossed 28 with a light) and continued on up to Walney. Once on Walney, I cut behind Pohanka and came out on the service road. I took that until Lees Corner, where I got on the trail. I wasn't going to go this way home, but I had to stop by Blockbuster to pick up Sky High for M's birthday party on Wednesday. After stopping off and picking up the movie, I headed home.
Overall, the commute of 8 miles (on the nose) took me just about 40 minutes. It took me 10 minutes just to ride back from Greenbriar Shopping Center, but three of those were spent sitting at the light at Stringfellow.
We finally finished The Silver Chair. I am so glad that series of movies is done. It was getting too painful to watch the bad special effects at work. I guess I need to get the next book to read to the kids (hopefully they'll like it as much as I enjoyed the movie).