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Monday, March 05, 2007

Drove to Springfield yesterday for LIB meeting. Set that difference between car and bike apart by another 181 miles :(

Returned in the crisp spring air. Dinner in Savoy at 6:00.

Ride or drive?

I *like* riding my bike. Maybe, if I'd ridden to Springfield, I'd have driven to Savoy.

I *don't* want to show up as a function of my bicycle.

I have a plan.

Tights, those soft light thermals, and green khaki pants. Happiness because even over two layers, they aren't too tight :) :) Thermal base, pink turtleneck, pink sweater (my favorite one, successfully darned).

I'm dressed for dinner on the outside, outside on the inside. Yes, I look 20 pounds heavier than I am but hey, that means that when it gets warmer I shall instantly look 20 pounds lighter. Life is relative :)

I put on my lit backpack and tucked the wine in the Xtracycle. Lit the other lights. Took off. Gladness, gladness to be outside and riding, into the wind. I LIKE TO RIDE :) :)

Pulled into the driveway and avoided being seen thru the window :) Parked bike where it wasn't visible from the road. Slipped off backpack and laid it next to bike. Put helmet on bike frame. Took wine bottle from Xtra saddlebag.

Entered. Coats on bed, wine on table. Methinks victory: no "did you ride?"

Wined. Dined. Opined.

Time to go. Headed for back door. "The side door is open and more direct."
Only if I drove, kind sir :) :) But that shall be my egress. A swift-thinking guest says in jest, "Are we parked behind you?" Snork. Guest knows.

Say goodbyes.

Full moon, gentle tailwind, the peace of the quiet prairie... a breathtakingly beautiful wide ride home.

Yes, I could have driven. Yuck.

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It's good to arrive stylishly attired.
I believe it would be difficult for non-cyclists to ever understand the importance of riding, as opposed to driving, without the riding experience. There is an interesting article in the most recent issue of Bicycling magazine about the bicycle industries attempt to get more people in this country riding for the love of it, marketing a new bicycle concept. They hope to use the memory of the experience of people riding as kids as a catalyst for riding as an adult.
I hope it is successful as it could create a different culture for riding and commuting and health, the environment, less dependence on oil, etc.
A lovely, amusingly written story. Thanks!

Why did you wish to look as if you drove to the dinner (or to avoid anyone realizing that you biked?) Was this some sort of special dinner with guests who would think less of you for riding and whose opinions mattered to you?

(The few words you used to capture the ride home conjured up memories of similar rides home in the dark.)
Actually, it was almost all cycling people, who know I commute and seldom drive a car, but they had driven (or lived there). I wanted to take the cycling to a higher challenge - a response to the "well, I admire her so much for riding everywhere, but I have to look professional" excuse, and I wanted to be the giver of attentions, not the recipient (a skill I need practice in :)). It was a special dinner 'cause I like those people a lot.
The guy who installed my Xtracycle was there and he knew I had ridden, 'cause he joked "are we parked behind you?" and hten said to the confused masses, "she's on a bike!" I don't know if he k new just because he knows or if he'd looked.
Mark - I also have hopes for this year for being a big one for cycling. I"ve gotten an email asking if my church wants to participate in some Earth Month activities and encourage people to cycle to their place of worship, which is a cool idea given that you don't need to bring much stuff!
My church has showers. I'm usually the only one who bikes, though, out of 200-300 people who generally show up.
Your blog makes me smile - thanks. :)
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