Friday, May 16, 2014

The Bike of Bliss

Be at one with the universe. If you can't do that, at least be at one with your bike.

- Lennard Zinn

What would my life be like these days if I didn't have my trusty Waterford to get me to and from work?  We are so crazy-nuts busy at work right now, and for as far ahead as the eye can see.  I really love my job, seriously, I do; I'm challenged and excited and happy every day, but tension is tension, whether it's happy tension or tense tension.  With no time to even breathe, my eyes squinch at my computer monitors and my shoulders hunch and my brain frazzles.  But that two hours or so of bike riding every day is keeping me sane and relatively healthy.

The ride in in the morning can be a little perilous.  Car commuters are in a hurry and not always in the mood to wait for a bike.  My route takes me through the heart of the Amazonia construction in south Lake Union and north downtown, and I dodge huge lumbering cement trucks and double-long dump trucks and gaping potholes.  This week I had my scariest close call ever, thanks to a jackass in a black Mercedes with an anger management problem and an exalted sense of his importance.  I was totally in the right, he was totally in the wrong, but it didn't make any difference.  He would have squashed me like a bug if he could have gotten away with it, and I rode a surge of heart-pounding adrenalin all the way to work.

But ah, the ride home in the evening.  Now we're talking the bliss of the bike.  I've been working until 7:30 or 8:00 or 8:30 most evenings, so I'm usually the last bike in the bike garage.

No matter how late I leave, no matter how tired or frazzled or stressed, I still need to get on my bike and ride home.  By the time I leave, the sun is low, the cement trucks are silent, and the traffic is mostly gone.  I cruise easily through downtown and along the lake, where I spot a Swiss oligarch's jaw-dropping plaything.

Maybe I'll be lucky and the bridge will go up to let a sailor through.

As I ride by the shipyards, I check out the progress on some giant maritime vessel's facelift.

I watch baby geese hurry hurry hurry someplace important.

I walk through the locks and pause to check out a gorgeous heron standing in the spillway, waiting for a fish.

And I detour to Sunset View Park to view a sunset.

Finally, limp as a rag doll, my brain smoothed out and my shoulders unhunched, I head for home, where I'll unpack my pack and take a shower and poke at a bowl of granola, then fall into my bed and do it all again the next day.   By the weekend, I am happy to put away my bike for a couple of days and spend some time running on trails, playing the piano, roller skiing, trying a new wine, and reading ... anything not written by an attorney.

Every week that I leave my car at home and ride to work, I'm saving at least $65 in parking fees.  If I keep this up, by the end of summer I will have saved enough to buy a better rain bike ... or a plane ticket to Paris.

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