About a month ago, DOT closed down the pedestrian pathway over a river I need to cross on the way to work. It's undergoing a major reworking and will be a really nice linear park when all is done. Assuming all goes well, it will be closed for the next 16 months. I'm not looking forward to the winter, but it's a workable hassle. There is another bridge a bit farther North, however, there are limited ways for a bike to get over to this other bridge and DOT has been making it challenging by doing work on the alternate roads I can use.
I faced my greatest challenge to date during my morning commute. As I left the bike trail, I immediately sensed trouble. There was a police officer blocking a road segment a few blocks before the point where I could choose two different routes to the alternate bridge. If I couldn't go through, I would have been force to backtrack many miles. There are alternate routes I can take to avoid this entire area, but the decision point is at about a 1/3 of the way in. By the time I ran into this mess, I was almost at work. I decided to see what my options where and approached the cruiser. The officer was reading a magazine and didn't notice me standing at his window, so I gently tapped on it and had this little discussion:
Me: What's was going on, can I really not make it through there?
Officer: The road is closed, you'll have to go that way (he points towards a road)
Me: Ahhh, doesn't that lead to an on ramp, to an expressway?
Officer: Oh yeah, that probably woudn't work for you. Well it looks pretty clear that direction, you can certainly make it to next section of the bike path.
Me: Ahhh, they knocked out the bridge under the bike path weeks ago, I think I'd rather take my chances on the expressway.
Officer: Oh go ahead through, I'm sure you will be fine.
I didn't have great faith in his recommendations by this point. I looked down the blocked road and didn't see anything really dangerous, so I decided to forge on. As I got closer to the real action, I saw a construction worker. I stop, hoping to get a more informed opinion.
Me: Can I get through? If not I need to backtrack many miles.
Worker: Sure, they are just paving the road. If anybody tries to stop you, just tell them Joe said you could go through.
Worker: Just don't get run over by the steamroller!
I continued on, avoided the steamrollers. As I passed anyone who looked mildly interested in me, I premptively said "Joe said I could go through", not actually slowing down enough for anyone to get a chance to say anything. I wonder if they will let me play the same game tomorrow or if I should just play it safe and take an alternate route early into my ride.