Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back to Biking

There's a big smile on my face; that's because one of my students waiting at the bus stop took this picture as I was leaving for home.  Maybe, I was just happy I wasn't waiting for the bus too, or maybe I didn't want the boy to worry about me.  But, biking is different now.  Not scary, at least not once I'm on the bike.  But I'm more aware, both of the beauties of the ride, but also of the consequences of mistakes. 

I only decided to give it a try after I woke up this morning.  Up until then, I was convinced I agreed with Bill's more sensible suggestion of a short run together on the weekend.  But, the weather was perfect, and I hung around the house, doing some school e-mails, until I was just a bit late for catching the bus.  Then, I thought.  I'll shower, and get all ready, and go out to the shed.  If the tires have gone flat, that will be a sign.  Not to gross you out, but I was more sweaty getting into the shower, than I was after I arrived at school.  The thinking about it was the worst. Has anyone ever stopped to think about the differences between nervous sweat and exercise sweat?  Anyhow, to get back to the point, the tires were perfect and off I went.

The Lions Gate was not looking spectacular this morning.  In fact, it was quite dull, but when I made it to the middle, I found myself wanting to record the moment.

Having the bike back in its familiar spot in the music room was comforting.  I've missed it there, waiting to take me home.

I stepped out at lunch time, and "my" heron was waiting for me.  I am almost at the point of giving him a name.  For some reason, I've been thinking of this heron as a "him", although the long-legged, knobby-kneed pose in this picture made me think of a skinny girl in a mini skirt.  Any suggestions for a name? 
The Lions Gate, facing home in the afternoon, yielded some spectacular images.
A boat was passing under the bridge. Its cargo looked to me like stacks of Nike running-shoe boxes.
My next stop was along Beach Avenue.  The sun was so bright I could barely see what I was photographing.  This was the bigger picture.
I did two zoomed shots, trying to catch the glare of the sand.  

I made it to The Wicked Cafe on 7th, and called Bill to come get me.  I had no batteries for my front light, my hands were freezing, and I realized, it was enough biking for one day.  Spoiled, I know, to expect Bill to drop everything and come.  Thank you, Bill!

Will I ride tomorrow?  The sensible decision might be to do every second day for a while.  I checked the weather, and it's supposed to be pretty cool in the morning.  We'll see.  Often, the things I do or don't do surprise me as much or more as those around me.

There are so often bonus conversations that seem to arise because of biking.  That's one of the beauties.  When I arrived at The Wicked, there was a full-size bike hanging on the wall, with a skeleton riding it.  I considered photographing it, and thought better.  Call it superstition.  A girl was sitting at the table under the bike art, and she noticed my gaze.  I told her it was my first ride since an accident, and she then revealed that after ten years of something close to a biking obsession, she had a very serious accident.  I sat down at her table, and we talked.  I wanted to hear her story, but there was also a warmth about her that was inviting.  We did talk about bikes, but in just a few short minutes, we talked about an amazing array of other thoughts.  I gave her my blog address, and she hurried off to meet her husband.  One of many happy moments in a good day.


  1. You chose a lovely day for it, at least. Glad to hear that those tires were pumped and ready to go. I do think that that every other day (or just one way) would make good sense for a little while.

    Someone stole all of the lights off my bike once so I put some on my helmet as well. A few zip ties allowed me to add a headlamp in the front and two MEC flashing turtles in the back. Worked great.

    I suggest Nicky for the heron. Nicky Hilton (sister of Paris) was taking some flak recently for having knobby knees. I only know about this because it actually made it into one of those free daily newspaper.

  2. Hello Carol! clearly you depend upon your intuition, and at this point in my life, I could not fathom a better way to live.

    Way to go on the biking and all your wonderful photos. It was a real pleasure meeting you.

    my love & smiles your way,

  3. it's me again!

    uups… i forgot to leave you the site i mentioned regarding the wonderful bikes we love.

    check out

    happy pedaling,


  4. Nicky, she shall be, dp. Thanks!
    I couldn't bring myself to take the bus today, so, though I knew your suggestion made sense, took the bike again. All went well, but will stay off it for the weekend.

    Someone stole my lights one night when I was downtown, and I had to bike home lightless. After that, I never again left my lights on the bike. Does the headlamp light up the road in front of you better than bike lights? I'm thinking of getting one.

    Lucie, great to hear from you! I checked out that site and found it interesting. Thanks! Do you remember the name of the artist who did the skeleton on the hanging bike at The Wicked? I took his card, but it must have fallen out of my pocket. Thanks for taking time to talk, and to check out the blog. I really enjoyed meeting you and send lots of smiles your way too.

  5. Good for you! Back on the horse, and all that. You're doing better than me, and I don't even have the excuse of a scary accident. I just don't ride my bike :( I sold the commuter because I needed the green for vet bills, so I can only ride the Bianchi in nice weather as it lacks fenders. And now that my boss is back and my dogs will only be coming to work a couple times a week instead of every day, maybe it's time to start riding again. I think you have inspired me to do it! Well that and the 20lbs I gained this winter ;-)

  6. It's great to hear that you are back on the bike, Carol. I didn't think you would stay off it for long!
    Love the picture of the sunset. I think the sunsets this past winter have been among the most beautiful I can remember. I certainly don't remember night after night of them like we seem to get now.

  7. Carol, we just read about your accident. Very glad you are ok and well done for getting back on the bike. We've enjoyed looking at lots of the new photos on your blog that we've not seen before.

    Take care,

    Minnie-Moo (and Muzzle)

  8. Hey, BC, Jean and Minnie-Moo - good to hear from you!

    I was sorry to hear you had to sell Joelene, BC. I know you loved her. But maybe, biking on the nicer days, and only if the dogs aren't invited to go to work with you, is a good way to go. If you do get out there again, I hope the uphills aren't too crazy, and don't forget to ride safe!

    Agreed, Jean. I thought maybe it was just because I started this blog, that I was noticing them more, but I can't remember such a spectacular winter for sunrises and sunsets.

    And Minnie-Moo, thanks for the kind words and good wishes. Must get your blog on the links at the side of my page. Going to check it out right now!