Thursday, October 26, 2006

Slow Ride

I rode the 420 bike home from school today. (I took the bus in as usual on Thursdays—to read the Stranger and catch up on my pop culture for the week.)

The noble lugged steel Trek is my most upright of bikes: English 3-speed style bars, cork grips, sprung Brooks saddle; probably the heaviest of my rides and certainly the one that induces me to ride most slowly.

Although I wouldn’t take it every day, I’m recommending I ride it in more regularly, a couple times a month, at least.

Traveling more slowly than usual has much to recommend it.

First, it’s easy. Typically, at some point during my commute, I get to pedaling faster than I mean to. Maybe I’m fighting the wind or trying to get a hill over with; my heart races and my breath comes in gulps.

Not once today did I feel like I was really working.

Second, my ego is lulled to sleep. Most days, there comes a time when I’m compelled to pick up the pace because someone passes me or I’m trying to prevent that from happening.

Today, I didn’t care—even when the pair of chunky chicks on fat tire bikes left me in their dust.

Third, the view afforded by the Miss Gulch position allows me to notice and enjoy the lovely fall colors especially clearly. It’s not that I’m usually in a deep race crouch or anything, but today I was heads up, looking around, and really appreciating the brilliant yellows and reds of this fine fall day.

Finally, the slow bike wasn’t even that slow. I left school at 4:00 and passed the UW at around 5:05. This is only a handful of minutes longer than it usually takes.

Instead of going home, I met Jen, Mimi, and Mimi’s friend at Central Cinema to watch “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.”

The 420 bike really is the two wheeled equivalent of my hero, Don Knotts.


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