Pluto is far away, and other thoughts on biking in Michigan

Like my former home, the University City Loop in Missouri, Lansing also has a “Planet Walk” with a bunch of signs representing the planets, with the relative spacing between the signs the same as the relative spacing between the actual planets. Except it’s really more of a “Planet Bike”, since it’s on the riverfront bike trail, meaning the signs are farther apart. And it really brings home how far away the outer planets are when you can stand there at the Earth sign, and look to your right and see Venus, and look to your left and see Mars, and – oh, you’d like to visit Pluto? That’ll be two miles down the trail out in the woods somewhere. (It also makes it feel like more of an accomplishment when you actually reach Pluto.) No, they apparently did not rip the Pluto sign out of the ground just because a bunch of astronomers told them to.

I really like the “Planet Walk” concept though, and wonder what else it could be applied to. Like, an atom, say? Could we have a sign for the atom center, a sign (or mark!) for the edge of the nucleus, and signs for electron locations? Oh, but electrons aren’t really localized – maybe something like a field of flowers representing the electon cloud that gets denser in… oh, nevermind.

And then there is this:

On the Michigan State campus, those narrow lanes are supposed to be bike paths. (Some of the bike paths are normal size, as you can also see, but a lot of them are these narrow lanes.) They’re only about a foot wide in spots. On the plus side, they go all over the place, so you can get almost anywhere you want to without having to worry about running down pedestrians, or getting run down by a car. On the negative side – what, was there a shortage of concrete when these were made? Or is this just supposed to be sporting and challenging? I’m not sure what the thought was here. Here is another look:

I also biked past this sign today:

Can you see the small print someone has added beneath the sign? It says “except not really”.

I have no idea what that means, and I should probably refrain from expressing any opinions on Psychology.

OK, just two more photos.

This guy actually ran up to me today, almost all the way to me. Plainly he is used to being fed or something. And when he started to run away and I would “click” at him as if to call him, he would stop, turn around, and start to come toward me again.

And finally, our cat says “don’t be in a hurry to unpack the rest of those boxes!”

It turns out that moving is kind of annoying. I recommend you avoid it if at all possible.

2 thoughts on “Pluto is far away, and other thoughts on biking in Michigan

  1. What if you have to pass a slower biker? Do you run them into the grass, or do you rough it yourself? Also, is that doorway I see behind the boxes important? I’m wagering the answer is “Eh…not so much at the moment.”

  2. Yeah, I wonder about passing too. Hasn’t been a problem yet. There was once a man standing on the path, but I just gave him the evil eye as I approached and he got off.

    The doorway is a bathroom door, and although we have two and thus don’t really need it, it actually is accessible!

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