Search This Blog

Friday, May 30, 2008

For Whom the Bell Tolls

The bells start ringing and I am only on Georgia Ave. If I don't hurry I will be late. In my morning bike ride I go through the UTC campus and if my timing is right, I am serenaded by a recording of bells ringing out the alma mater. If I am hitting the chained barrier (it still has not been changed, see Yellow Tape Wars or My Small Act of Civil Disobedience post) at the start of this music accompaniment, I know I will arrive on time to work. But being on Georgia Avenue when it starts or even worse, too late to catch it at all, I know I am going to be late. Great time to see how I can fly on the bike!

For Whom the Bell tolls,? It tolls for me telling me I better get a move on to work!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thar' She Blows!

Anyone outside last Sunday was treated to a wind here in Chattanooga that is rarely felt, at least not without a horrendous storm accompanying it. What a day for kite flying! And what a day for bike riding!

All was manageable until I was crossing Market Street Bridge and suddenly if found myself in a wrestling match. A large, invisible hand was pushing me, pushing me right into the curb. I was refusing to go! Back and forth, the wresting match continued. At times it seemed I would win but many times I knew I was going into the curb and tripping onto the sidewalk. At times it was strong enough I envisioned myself being taken right over the side railing and into the river.

But suddenly, at times during this match, that malevolent hand turned benevolent and ceased its attempt in pushing me over the side and instead pushed me ahead. Wheee! What a feeling! I know if biking always felt that way people would be paying for a chance to do it.

But before I could take that wonderful ride for granted, that hand would turn malevolent again. Wrestling time again! There I was alternately wrestling the wind and riding the wind all across the bridge.

What an adventure!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Early Morning Ride

Once a week I have to be at work at 6:00 in the morning and it is on these mornings that are my favorite ride in. Its very peaceful leaving my house at 5:30, Its dark, its quiet, its traffic free! I encounter few cars.

People complain to me. sometimes to my face and sometimes by the rude honking they do as they pass me, that they feel greatly inconvenienced by the couple of seconds that it takes to pass me safely. Heads up, people! It's cars that slow you down. Think how often you have to stop for traffic. Even I, going less then 20 miles an hour on my bike have to slow down and wait on cars. These mornings I ride in early my commute time is 20% shorter.

Not only is it faster to get around without cars getting in the way, it is much quieter. During the morning ride in I am accompanied the whole way by the songs of those early birds. It is music to my ears. It is a joy in life that everybody should have on a regular basis. But how do you convince people to get out and out'tem early but not in a car?

Imagine the ride-dark(of course you would have many lights on your bikes), sounds muted, few other souls out, and only an occasional car. Because of the light traffic, you are hitting stoplights in your favor. It is possible to get completely across town without taking your foot off the pedal. Its too early to have many formed thoughts, so your mind is still, just taking in information from all your senses. Ah, the smell of honeysuckles! The moon is a striking sliver crescent this morning. And accompanying you the whole way are the joyous sound of the birds greeting the morning.

There can't be a better way of starting the day!

This morning is Bike2Work. I hope to see you there! I will post pictures next week.