Friday, April 18, 2008

Stars in Alignment

Through an unusual combination of good luck, mad bike handling skills, and creative interpretation of traffic laws I made it 15 miles across town to work without putting a foot down. It wasn't a specific intention of the ride, more of an observation made LATE on the route then a spontaneous game to play.

Before you step up on your soapbox to offer the lecture or advice about how cyclists should not run stop signs and ignore stoplights. I agree with you, doing so doesn't do any of us any good when it comes to the image of cyclists.

I'm not scofflaw, there were no blatant traffic violations. I leave early in the morning. There's a quiet peacefulness to the city in the pre-dawn hours. All of the stars were in alignment this morning. The lights were turning green as I approached. Traffic was non-existent. It was quiet and it felt like I had a tailwind.

I used the opportunity of silence to practice my riding with eyes closed. Yes, you read that correctly. With my eyes closed. There is a stretch of Roselawn Avenue in Roseville with a 9 foot striped shoulder (I know because I have measured it, but that's another story.)

Along this stretch of road, I find it entertaining to line up my tires on the white line and close my eyes. I use the sound of the tires and the slight difference between riding on the line and that of the pavement. Subtle movements of the bars, one can ride by feel and sound alone. It's really quite thrilling.

That slight feeling of being scared, riding blind feels a lot like the way that I live life in general. Never really feeling comfortable, never really knowing what's coming along or what will happen. Yes, indeed, quite thrilling.

Happy Friday.

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