the sweet spot that isn’t

at the far eastern end of madison, the road travels through the business district of madisonville and then dips down to intersect with plainville road (heading back toward mariemont) and camargo (heading out toward madeira. a typical route takes me out madison and left on camargo. once on camargo, you cruise along through the no-man’s land separating madisonville and madeira before grinding up a slight grade into madeira and some very popular routes beyond.

all of this, however, is after the beautiful sweeping downhill left-turn from madison road onto camargo, perfect for taking at speed, practicing your lean, your tilt, your carve of the road. even better, traffic from madison onto camargo doesn’t have a stop sign, so you don’t even have to break any laws to take advantage of this little sweet spot.

you might have to break a few bones, however. because, even though there’re signs at both the stop signs on plainville and camargo indicating that “TRAFFIC FROM LEFT/RIGHT DOES NOT STOP,” it’s never a safe bet that any car stopped at either stop sign will notice/obey/be literate enough to read such a notice.

take for instance yesterday afternoon: sunday, light traffic, sunny day. i come up to said intersection, and there’s a car stopped heading from camargo to plainville. i’m pretty sure he’s looking at me, and he’s stopped, so i think “sweet! a chance to take this turn the right way!”

and then he starts to roll forward. and i realize he doesn’t see me; he’s gawking at the street signs, trying to figure out where he is. and he keeps rolling, in that hesitant way that people who have not idea what they’re doing roll. i holler, and stop, but not before locking up my back wheel and feeling it fishtail ever so slightly.

he waves.


there’s a lot of these places out there for cyclists: little curves and descents and sprints that would be perfect (and perfectly legal) if you could trust that automotive traffic would be predictable, or at least legal. these little frustrations are the reasons that when we do get a good confluence of circumstances that allow us to take a turn perfectly, or descend in the right line, we’re likely to give a whoop for joy.


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Filed under safecycling, training

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