so I got a bike 2 weeks ago, right? and two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if I could even *ride*; that first night, we went down to the library, and I went through a series of little freakouts all the way down and up (as much as I enjoyed it at the same time).
today…I got home from work, and C was out, and I didn’t feel like doing housework (too damn hot for us Pac NW wusses), so I went out for a ride: a variant of what’s now become a familiar jaunt, out to the vicinity of the San Francisco St. Bakery, then over to a little housing development and back by South Bay Rd. (this time I cut back on a slightly different route after consulting the bike map.) all of which probably amounted to a couple of miles, mostly flat with some gentle hills.
got home again, stripped off my bike clothes and jumped in the shower. C got home shortly after I got dressed, while I was starting to think about reheating some leftovers for dinner, and said, “let’s bike downtown.” and y’know, that didn’t sound like a half-bad idea. so back into bike-able clothes, hair back in the ponytail, and back out onto the road.
downhill on the same route we took that first night, only this time I was happy and confident, relaxed; thoroughly enjoying myself. we decided to bike around Capitol Lake; at first I hesitated, thinking about going back up the hill, but I thought, “what the hell.”
and the ride around the lake was lovely in the long warm sunset; on the way back into downtown, we saw a couple of guys with some sort of giant kite, trying valiantly to get it up into the air. (failing miserably, but still.)
I think I like riding around downtown Oly, too, even with the squirrelly little streets and the appearance and disappearance of bike lanes.
we stopped at Starbucks (Batdorf & Bronson, alas, had long been closed) and had enormous chai frappuchinos while reading bits of the New York Times. then, as sunset gave way to dusk, we headed back for home…a slightly different route, tackling the big hill a little more headon. I went into lower and lower gears until I just failed out entirely, just barely avoiding crashing into someone’s lawn. took the next couple of blocks on foot until we got up onto our plateau; home again as darkness fell, and back into the shower.
and I feel lovely. (yesterday I biked to the Chehalis Western Trail and halfway to the Yelm Highway, back via Fred Meyer. I can get from Fred Meyer to the house in 18 minutes.)
I think what I’m getting from bicycling is generally a better sense of my own connection to physical reality. I’ve always been over-precious about my own fragility, nervous about being physical. bicycling is such a high — an honest-to-god euphoric experience — that it gives me the courage (?) to let go, or push myself, or something.