Saturday, January 26, 2008

Something different yet familiar

I did something different today. I went for a bike ride that had no utilitarian aim. And I went on a regular mountain bike, sans electric assist. This is something that I used to do all the time. However, in the past year I had gotten into a more car-reliant lifestyle, as least as far as my free time was concerned, since my tennis events and whatnot were generally not really pedalable. And there was no time or energy left over for biking for fun. When I did ride, I was on a mission, and I used the e-bike.

At 23", My non-powered bike is a lot taller than the 18" frame that I put the motor on. It feels stiff and spindly. I was very surprised at how fast it wanted to roll, being nearly nude without all the cargo racks, batteries and whatnot. I was also surprised by how easy pedaling was, although some inclines made me feel like I wasn't really making much progress at times. I was also surprised by how refreshed I felt after pedaling around the neighborhood, getting a feel for things. (I couldn't resist a stop at the nearby Krispy Kreme.)

The river was beautiful. I brought some hot tea and biscuits (ok, crackers) because I thought it was a civilized thing to do. With a fleece jacket, wool quarter-zip sweater, and cotton turtleneck, I felt slightly underdressed for walking around outside but it started to get a little warm after some exertion. High was in the low 50s 'F. I had wool socks and some ventilated mesh clogs that worked fine, warm and breathable. I used to wear thick woolen socks with sandals. :

Looking at my bike by the river, I realized I had had it for an amazing ten years. It's a 1998 Specialized Hardrock FS (front suspension). It's hardly the most expensive thing out there, but it's been my entry into the world of real bikes. It's tall and ungainly and slow, like me, but it's tough. Ten years! It's gotten me around rattlesnakes, over ice and snow, I even rode it on the beach when I first got it. It's been from Sullivan's Island (SC) to Emigration Canyon (UT). What an emotional trip it's been.

Since I work at home, I don't have much of a commute. This was my commute with nature. This is how I used to live, and how I will be living now. This is I.

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