I got to riding last night and I have to tell you all that simply the act of getting on the bike and leaving my cell phone (and my problems) behind was enough to get the creative juices flowing.
My plan (as loose as it was) was to head out to the Gym for a workout (got to get back into the groove) and then off to the grocery store to pick up lunches for work. This was the first time that I choose to ride my bike to the grocery store and I learned a few things.
1. Why doesn’t the Store have a bike rack? I ended up with the Hobson’s choice of locking my bike up on a rusty handicapped parking sign or a on the railing of the cart return. I really didn’t like either option but I more afraid of the idea of all of the buggies slamming into my pretty orange bike. So I locked it up to the signpost.
2. I was surprised at how quickly I began to think of things in terms of weight. Apples and noodles good. Watermelon and Steaks Bad. I piked up a hand basket when I walked into the store and I ended up putting everything I bought (other than a bottle of water) in my back pack and riding home.
I noticed that I garnered more than my share of attention walking through the store with my backpack and helmet hanging of the strap. Maybe it is the fact that I am firmly ensconced in the suburbs, but the idea of going anywhere and not using a car is just completely foreign.
Case in Point
When I checked out I told the girl that was bagging the items that I didn't need them bagged as I was going to be putting them in my backpack.
She bagged them anyway.
As I was taking my stuff out of the plastic bags and putting them in my backpack she noticed the helmet hanging on the strap.
"You rode a bike here?" She asked.
"Yes." I answered and prepared myself for the conversation that always follows.
"Not far, by the Library." (that is 2 miles away, on the same road)
"Wow, that's far."
"Not really, a bit under 2 miles is all."
What invariably follows that statement is the reason I grieve for youth of the nation.
"I could never ride that far."
Read that statement over again, slowly if you need to. The statement wasn't
I would never ride that far
Isn't it dangerous to ride on Saltsburg? (a little but not much)
I couldn't make it up and down the hills. (not much in the way of hills)
The statement was "I COULD never ride that far". A teen aged girl, trim, healthy, and pretty, showing no outward sign of any physical ailment actually didn't believe that she could ride a bike on a rolling hills road two miles to get some groceries and then ride back.
Am I that much of stranger in my own land?