Thursday, April 29, 2010

Joy Ride

One of the things I love most about riding my bike is that I feel intimately connected to the weather and the sometimes subtle changing of the seasons. If it rains, I get wet. I feel the cold spots on the trail where there's little sun during the day. Usually I must press against the wind, but today it's blowing from the southeast, so it felt pleasantly warm and didn't hamper my commute.

It's amazing how quickly the woods fill with green. Only weeks ago they seemed quite brown and barren. Then small white flowers cropped up among the dead leaves - thousands of them spreading across the ground. Then the flowering trees and shrubs - delicate pink and white blossoms. And now the lilacs are blooming, as well as purple flowers on tall stems and a multitude of dandelions. The spaces between trees are filling with green, and the rapid change makes my ride seem so much shorter, because I am constantly looking around me.

Today I saw, across a narrow corn field, a wild turkey tom displaying to a rather uninterested looking hen. It seemed like such a perfect Midwestern scene, and I would have missed it if I had taken the car. In fact, if driving I would probably only notice that the grass and cedars were greening, and that the trees were just starting to leaf out. I would miss the progression of wildflowers, the turkeys, the geese on river islands, the ducks that fly across my path in the city park.
image via paradise garage

I'm also taking a new bike to work. Last weekend Aaron bought his first-ever grown-up bike, a cream Linus mixte, and he is generously allowing me to ride it in to work in the mornings, so that he may drop off the car for me after work and ride it home. It is so encouraging to see companies designing good-looking, affordable bicycles already decked out with fenders, a rear rack, and a bell. No gradient color, no loud graphics. Just simple, clean design. It's a bicycle that makes you smile when you ride it. And the gearing is so nice and low that even on three speeds, I can bike up all the hills on my route without too much trouble. Now we just need to save up for a leather saddle.

Speaking of feel-good bicycles, Schwinn is running a TV ad:

Bicycles really do make the world a better place.

(via Urban Velo)

1 comment:

Norm Baker said...

I see you and bikes as natural complements to each other. You seem so happy when its bike time. Ill never forget You and Aaron riding to the movies while the rest of us took the car!! I hope its a romantic thing for the too of you also!! Your cuz, NOrm