Posts Tagged 'bicycle'

Ride Peggy, Ride

About four and a half years ago, I bought myself a bicycle.  It didn’t take very long for me to fall in love with it, and with cycling in general.  I loved how I could hop on and glide through the streets of Oakland, getting almost anywhere I needed to go, without much concern for traffic or parking.  I didn’t have to worry about being harassed as I waited for the bus.   I loved that I could go, go, go without having to worry about refueling.   Flying down the bike lane was exciting, and I also felt like I was a part of a special club.   In short, it helped me feel independent and free.

And of course, I’m not alone in my sense of freedom upon a bicycle.  The bicycle is often held up as a key component of the changing culture in the 1890s.  Women took to bicycles as they were experiencing greater access to public life, and riding changed fashions of the days, as women began to dress to accomodate riding.   They were also affordable for many people, and “in 1897 alone, more than two million bicycles were sold in the United States , about one for every 30 inhabitants.”  I agree, that “cycling is inherently feminist.”  I’m proud to be a part of this tradition, just as I am proud when vote or support women owned business.

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.” ~ Susan B. Anthony, 1896

Suffragettes On Bicycles

Cycling has also been shown to be a great vehicle for improving physical and mental health.  (Pardon the pun)    I have always felt that cycling has been great for my personal health and wellbeing, even though at times it can be a harrowing experience.    It’s exhilarating, it’s fresh air, and it’s movement.  All good things for body and soul.

My bicycle has become very important to me.  It does feel like an extension of myself.

So, I was absolutely heartbroken when I found that my bike had been stolen on Monday night.     This is all that’s left of her.  I’m crushed.

Lock

So much so, that I went out and got myself a brand new bike right away.  I don’t want to live a bicycle-less life ever again.

photo (5)

I think she’s so beautiful.

 

 

Unseasonably Warm

So, last night, I was talking on the phone with Mama Bear, and I got on the topic of bicycling and how much I’m now in love with pedaling all over Oakland. I was telling her some of my better anecdotes, like the moment I realized that I made the right decision to give up my motorcycle as I nearly ran into a parked car after looking down at the gear selector for a brief moment, thinking to myself, I really should never go any faster through open air and space than I can propel myself.

Anyway, I also mentioned how it’s difficult to determine the right balance of clothing for riding in these winter months. You see, when I set out to go to work in the morning, I’m usually dressed in some suitable winter fashion, like a sweater. The thing is, though, the physical exertion of riding warms me up pretty quickly. So, even on the coolest mornings, I usually arrive to work at least a bit sweaty. I struggle to find just enough clothes to be warm enough when I first leave the house, but not so much that I’m miserable by the time I get to work. I was saying how I couldn’t wait until summer, when I could just ride in a tee or tank top.

Apparently I don’t have to wait until summer, though. The Global Warming Crazy Weather Gods have smiled on Oakland.

When I was strapping into my helmet and my back pack this morning, I was wearing a sweater over a sun dress with jeans. And I realized I was hot. I hadn’t even started riding yet. So, I put the sweater in my backpack.

I really, really liked being able to bike in to work without being completely bundled up. And it’s nice, too to get to work not a sweaty mess.

And I think I probably looked good, too. I like being able to show off my tattoo.

But as much as I hate to admit it . . . . we need rain. So, I’m going to enjoy this random heat wave, but hopefully it’ll start raining again soon. Droughts suck.

Just sayin’.

Crazy Single Girl Life – 2 Wheels Edition

Last week, I mentioned in passing that I had joined a bike gang, which is a bit of an exaggeration.     I mean, can two people be considered a ‘gang’.  We’re more like a dynamic duo on wheels – two each.

It all started early in November when Kayphore was having car trouble.   She went out to get in her car, and it just wouldn’t start.  While it was in the shop, she decided that she needed an alternative form of transportation.     She mentioned to me that she would like to get a particular brand of bike that is sold through a shop nearer to my place than to hers.   Since I had also been thinking of acquiring a bike of my own,  I accompanied her to the shop.   I stood by and eavesdropped as she went through all the details of what she wanted on the bike, and how she was going to use the bike.   Her main objective was to have something that would make her seven mile commute and that she could attach everything she would need to it.   I watched as she selected the bike, lights, rack, locks, helmet, etc.   It really inspired me, and I wanted to get a bike of my very own, too.

But I had just dropped a grand on having every belt in my car replaced.  It was one of those things where it was just time.   I knew that I couldn’t drop any money on a bike then and there.   However, I knew I was going to have to come up with some cash.  I was so jealous watching Kayphore get fitted out.

Then, that week, my life got picked up and dropped on it’s head.    I  found myself confused and adrift and in need of . . . something.

So Kayphore hauled me to the bike shop, and I bit the bullet.  I got paid that week, too, so that helped.

HELLO Beautiful!

bike

So, I’ve been riding to and from work every day,  about three miles each way.  And every chance we get, Kayphore make mundane trips to the pizza parlor or piano bar into excursions.     All of life has become an excuse to ride.   And while I do enjoy doing it alone, it’s even better with a friend.

Also, who knew being sore day in and day out could feel so wonderful.   Plus, if you could see my butt!!!!

It’s kind of funny how you can find something, quite by chance, that can make you so freaking happy.  Like, giggling your ass off and bellowing out “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield kind of happy.

Exactly how does this qualify as a “Crazy Single Girl” story?  Because I wouldn’t have done it a year ago, and because it’s something I’m doing for myself and with my friend.  Also, it reminds me just how free and independent I am, and why I love that more than anything in all the world now.

Just sayin’.


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