This has been a crazy month. First off, I am apparently going for the World record of flats in one week. Count them four!!! One front tire, two rears on my bike and a rear on my other half’s old bike. I would like to note that this catalyzed me to buy new tires for my bike. All my friends and co-workers are going on about this as though it is some kind of omen. No people, it is just that my tires are over two years old and I have put thousands, and I am not literally joking about that, of miles on them. It is time for new tires. So my baby got a new pair of shoes this week, and boy does she look better.
Today I had planned this ride to a distillery across the Sound on Bainbridge Island. I met Sean at a small coffee shop and had some coffee and a quiche. I am a sucker for a good quiche. We then hauled butt down to the ferry docks to ride across the sound. I must say I had already ridden a good distance prior to the ferry. I biked from Georgetown over Beacon Hill and across to the Central District and then back up a hill. We had to backtrack back over some of those hills to get to the Ferry dock. My co-worker joined us as well. It was both their first time with bikes on the Ferry. The key is that bikes are typically first on and first off, or last on last off the main floor. Safety is the key when you put bikes in with traffic.
We rode across and finally exited the Ferry. We immediately stopped for coffee, Sean is a nibble whore. We then proceeded to this wonderful place called Grow Community. We got a first hand look at an intentional sustainable community. I was impressed with the community, although it was far too much for my income, it had a great intention.
We then took off to the Bainbridge Organic Distillery. This is one of the Sponsor’s for AlleyCat Acres annual fundraising bike ride. This is the first year I will not be riding. I did offer to help when needed for the ride. I simply cannot fundraise two rides in a row, especially when one is $3700. I am going to use the current training rides as an opportunity to train for my big ride coming up.
I picked up a bottle of the Gin they distilled and then we rode back to the Ferry. It was a nice day, it did cool off a bit after we left the island. I had a great time today and I feel so good. I came home and showered, made a martini and am planning on a ride tomorrow to show solidarity against the Tar Sands Pipeline.
Riding with others changes the dynamic of the ride. For me, I often ride alone, I spend my ride meditation and thinking about things. I come up with creative ideas for new dinners and how to organize my life better. In a group setting that meditative moment is lost. However you gain the camaraderie that comes from community. The feeling of inclusion is very strong in a group ride. When you fall behind, they get to a point and wait for you. No rider left behind! I ride a big bike, it is not fast nor does it lend to hill climbing with ease. I fall behind, but never have I been left alone. Someone always waits and emotionally builds you up.
I love riding my bike. It gives me a greater appreciation of the natural world around me. Today, for instance, I noticed that some Crocus had started to bloom. I saw a beautiful Blue Heron in flight near the Ferry Dock. These are things that you miss inside a car. These are things I have learned to value being outside a car.
I used to think giving up my car was a decline in my status. Meaning that by not owning a car, I was now poor rather than middle class. I never realized, I had always been poor. What giving up my car gave me was a whole new world to explore. Now I must plan ahead. I must consider when I am going to shop, and what I will buy. I now have to consider that buying in bulk is not an option. I cannot carry or bike bulk products home. In fact I cannot store them either. I keep wondering how I missed all of these important things in my 20’s. Things like biking is a great form or transportation, buying in bulk is really not equitably, and that a car is not necessary for every person. I guess it is because I was not looking through the right lens, nor was I in the correct perspective.