I was overwhelmed this morning when I discovered the city had swept the curbs.
No more broken glass, metal shards grit, grime and crude in the way.
It was like for one brief moment somebody cared for a bike lane. That's not true. They are concerned that the broken car parts from all the accidents might threaten the valuable tires of the other cars who are still waiting their turn to be a traffic problem. Those of us who don't get in each other's way or cause injury and death are of no concern.
A weeks worth of commuting and utility riding is a good recovery period after a week of self-supported touring. After the trip, my metabolism was galloping and I seemed to do nothing but sleep and eat everything in sight for days.
It's April and people are starting to show up on their bikes. Some are going to club rides and talking smack about their accomplishments last year, and their mileage goals for this year. I feel a little left out, they are so focused, determining their caloric intake and target heart rate.
It's good that they have a phone to tell them what to do, if they had to think of all that stuff they'd probably forget to pedal. I just want to have fun riding my bike to more places and I bet it will lead me to more mileage. Of course proving that would be tedious and, more importantly, useless,
This time of year I also find myself in conversations that lead to the excuses for not commuting by bicycle; no showers at work, have to change shoes, carry extra clothes, the bike is too expensive, it's 8 miles, have to carry a computer, have to stop at the store. I like to address these concerns simply and orderly. I have been commuting by bike for 40 years in 6 different locations while working in 4 different industries. Nobody had showers at work. I always wore regular shoes, in fact I really like Rockport loafers for club rides (they're comfortable and confuse people). The only time I've felt a need to carry extra clothes was the summer in Kansas City when it got unbearably hot. I still only carried a shirt, used the t-shirt I was wearing to rinse off after I arrived, sprinkled a little deodorant talc around and was fresh as a daisy. With the money I saved, I could buy a second bike more appropriate for commuting.
Carrying a computer, extra clothes or stopping for groceries is easy on a bike that wasn't made for racing. 8 miles, are they kidding me? The extra mileage is just what people brag about. It's hard to make them understand. Their bike was bought for the same purpose as the car, to impress people. We're Americans! We spend money we don't have, to buy things we don't need to impress people we don't like. Bernard Shaw said; "When you stop caring of other's opinions, you are halfway to freedom." I'll just be ridin' and smilin'.