A glass breaks in the kitchen and I'm jolted awake in a manner only slightly less annoying that the time our two year old threw up on me. After fetching my wife her slippers and helping to clean up the glass I start my daily routine. Clothes, food, backpack but halfway through packing I realize it's Saturday and I don't have any appointments today. What do the unemployed do on their weekends? They go on bike rides. Of course! So I take my interview clothes out of the bag and replace them with my wetsuit, fins and inflatable surf mat. The bananas and water bottle can stay.
Instead of weaving the skinny tire bike between the cars to arrive at an appointment on time I will be weaving the fat tire bike between the slowly moving moguls consisting of tourists families visiting the beach for the day.
Initially this was just a was to spend less on gas but I have found numerous unknown sand bars that I would have driven right by in the car. The front rack takes my dripping wetsuit without complaint and riding after surfing extends that delightful endorphin buzz you get after riding the mat. If all goes well I will find a few waves to surf if not I can ride the sea side bike path for miles.
Today the coast is covered in fog. At times it seems like I am the only one on the planet many of the streets are deserted . I peddle on my world an ever changing collection of sights and sounds wrapped in a cloud.
A little farther down the trail the clouds part to reveal two tourists, in the middle of the path, off their bike starring at the limp chair hanging off their rented tandem beach cruiser. While screaming “get out of the middle of the road!” at them was a option I chose to pull over to the side and ask what the problem.
I'm not a bike mechanic and I have only the most primitive of tools but for me part of the beauty of riding is an appreciation and understanding of the basic bicycle machine. The chain wasn't broken and I brought the chain back into alignment with the rest of the drive train. After wishing them a good day I remounted and continued along my way. Hopeful that I had helped someone else have a nice day on the bike and looking forward to enjoying my own ride.
I'm riding one of my “other” bike today, actually my other other other bike. I group my bikes as road bikes, off road bikes or additions to my collection of 1960's Schwinn three speeds. Today it's a Schwinn Breeze day. The road bikes are faster, the MTB's have a wider range of uses but a good Breeze on the bike trail is a thing of beauty! The glide, the steady, floating forward motion. If independence has a tactile feeling its riding a bike. Someday if that feeling isn't there for me I'll make one massive donation to the local charity and move on. But today, after a bit of morning fog, the sun is out and I'm out on the bike having fun.