Events: The 2016 Festive 500 Day Seven
(2016) Ride Distance: 16 Miles / 197 Miles Remaining
I have resigned to the fact that the Festive 500 is much bigger than I this year. Today’s ride was supposed to go bravely up the state road 412 to explore two monuments to the Walking Purchase. That did not happen. So I resorted to the old standby.
It’s hard to stay focused when the issue is in doubt. It was cracking cold this morning with heavy winds. If the finish miles were a bit closer, I would have passed on the fourth mug of coffee, said no to the bison burger lunch, and would have attacked the balance with sheer determination.
However today I found myself riding the same route as I do when time is an issue and got to witness a beautiful winter sunset. But there’s something on the route that I just cannot get past mentally. It is a driveway. It is a shared driveway. It is also a runway.
Too many times I’ve passed this strip, flanked by houses, blocked by a gate from the road, and imagined multiple scenarios. My first question is where are all the planes? Every time I’ve passed I’ve not seen one aircraft basking in the sun of the season. Perhaps out of order is another question, how does a community like this start? Do a group of enthusiasts get together and purchase a gigantic field with the knowledge that aircraft flight would be possible?
And about that gate. What happens if the aircraft hasn’t fully taken off? Does it taxi on down the road after the gate has been opened? I’ll admit I’m taking a bit of liberty to assume the gate would open electronically in a time of need.
But here’s my ultimate question: what if, say, the Buxtons (not a real resident) would like to go for a stroll in the countryside in their car? As they’re proceeding down runway foxtrot, the Ainsleys (also not a real resident) have coincidentally returned from holiday via their Cessna and are coming in hot from the west. How does that get arranged considering there’s no tower to observe?
I’m sure all of these questions are ironed out with simple discussions. I regret to add any further miles on my Walking Purchase route, nor advanced considerably toward my insurmountable balance of 200 miles in two days. To occupy my mind I took to creating a scenario of neighbors who are a bit like the cast from It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. At any rate, imagine having a shared paved strip amongst friends. Now imagine instead of pilots, they’re all crit racers. People with aircraft would potentially fly over our little community and think, “How odd. What do they do when the neighbors want to come home but a race is on?”