Missed the Boat

Sunday’s a good time for a bike ride…

I realized tonight that I haven’t done a lot of purely recreational biking since I got here. Since I don’t have a car, the bike is largely a tool to get me from here to there, and though it’s great to combine exercise with a bookstore run, I hadn’t done a lot of exploring around the neighborhood on my bike.

I love bike riding. It was something I didn’t learn to do until I was 12 or 13 because there just weren’t a lot of places around my house to learn. I spent most of my biking time at my grandma’s house; there was a church parking lot nearby, and the church had this great courtyard where we could ride around these little statues of saints.

I got back into it after getting back from Bellingham and getting my life and health back together. I’d put the bike in the back of my truck and drive over to Lewisville Park and bike around. In Alaska, biking was my primary means of transport and recreation all summer and even much of the winter. It wasn’t until my last few months in Chicago that I took it up again.

There’s something I like about the freedom of bike riding. It’s like that girlish yearning for a horse – all that speed and power. It’s probably why I have such an interest in getting a motorcycle – more speed! More power! More freedom!

So tonight I picked a direction and just rode for a few miles down sleepy little streets. The evening was cool and muggy and there were a few people out on their porches. Somebody was having a block party. People played catch with their kids. The gardens were lush and well-landscaped, and despite the people everything was just dead quiet, just a sleepy summer night.

It was one of those nights that I try to wrap up and store away to remember later when things are not so good, when things are low. Because these are the nights you miss if you get hit by a car or hit by a shovel and keel over, you know. These are the nights it’s so beautiful to be alive, when it looks like, for the barest moment, that everything really will be all right.

So I wrap these ones up, and I put them away, and I remember them when the winter comes.

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