Passage #95: 27 April 2011

Sous les Pavés, la Plage

DURING a certain era of scientific inquiry, it was not an uncommon belief that all the great rivers of the world were derived from a common source - the Source, as it were - that flowed from the base of the Tree of Life. Mind you, this was long before Darcy's Law or even such basic concepts as the conservation of mass, so we can hardly blame our budding hydrologists for holding onto these gravity-defying notions. But even so, they recognized one area where their model fit very poorly with observations: none of the world's great rivers were connected to one another. At least... not at the surface.

SO, not about to let the messiness of geography get in the way of a neat and virtuous theory, they deduced that, obviously, the waters of paradise must flow through a vast network of subterranean passageways and reservoirs connecting the rivers together and linking them all back to the Source. Thus, the unity of all things was preserved, and as an added bonus, everybody got access to heavenly waters flowing right through (and beneath!) their town.

PLATONISTS. Go figure. Who would ever believe a ridiculous story like that? Totally crazy.

ANYWAY, on a completely unrelated note, this week's ride...

IT is short by our usual standards - just 20 miles and change. BUT, for six of these miles, we will be riding in some of the most isolated conditions you are likely to find in the city. They are six thrilling, surreal and even eerily beautiful miles, but if you are unprepared, you may also find them to be six very stressful miles. So be prepared:

  • - Bring lights!
  • - Seriously, you'll want lights.
  • - Bring all the tools you'd need to make normal repairs under abnormal conditions.
  • - If you have multiple bikes from which to choose, pick the one that is most suitable for riding through 1- to 2-inch deep puddles of water.
  • - Be comfortable riding in 1- to 2-inch deep puddles of water.
  • ALSO, know the following:
  • - Plastic bags, when worn between your shoes and your socks, do a pretty good job of keeping your feet dry, even if your shoes get wet.
  • - Your shoes will get wet.

Route Map

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