Sunday, July 26, 2009

In Stages

Incremental: you start out by riding downtown, just to see who else is riding.

Then, you think, “Well, I’m going right past the newsstand, may as well buy a Racing Form.”

As long as you’re at the bar, and it’s Sunday at noon, a bloody mary is in order.

And since you’re having one, why not have two?

Unlocking your bike, especially since you’re trying to entice your weak-willed acquaintance to cave, you’ve got to have a brief safety meeting. And while this makes for a wobbly start, you’re on Airport Way before you know it.

Suddenly, Georgetown appears; Nine Pound Hammer is closed, of course, but if you didn’t know anything about the ownership of Smarty Pants there’d be no complaints whatsoever: ice cold beer in cans on a outdoor patio, with shade.

Now, the ride commences, since why not, you’re on your way: Tukwila, Family Fun Center! Then Kent and due time along the straightaway, Emerald Downs appears.

Moments too late for a bet in the third race and the good news is, the horse you would have bet on didn’t win.

Bad news is, neither did any of the other fucking nags you picked in the fourth or fifth races, either.

And then, you’re on your way back north-ish with the wind right in your face, but if you just keep pedaling, the light rail station will have to show up.

So, when it doesn’t, it’s back to incremental stages and familiar routes, even though the way back turns out to be way longer than the way there.

But what’s reassuring, as usual, about the bike is that if you just persevere, then, eventually, you’ll end up, in a city park, near water, with your family, drinking cold beers and finding your land legs all over again.

A pause to refresh, and then you’re home, tired legs, lighter wallet, and a major farmer tan.

This is how a summer Sunday unfolds, step by step.


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