Sunday, March 30, 2008

from behind the handlebar...

I pulled out my old BOB trailer today to make a run to the grocery store. Spring is almost here - 65 degrees! I was tempted to put Maple, our little Viszla, in the trailer for a spin, but decided to spare her the turmoil. Usually when we put dogs in the trailer, they stand up and vibrate back and forth like a person trying to stand on a 'fit ball'. I don't know how people train their dogs to skateboard...but it's impressive. Yet - I digress.

I took the bike out and enjoyed the ride. I realized something pretty cool....I felt like I was much more part of the universe while riding. Driving a car and seeing the world from behind a window offers a much different perspective. Riding a bike puts you in the action, it engages you. There's a level of emotional protection you have from a car, kinda like watching TV. You see what's happening, but you're in your protective box and are only an observer. But on a have no choice to respond to the world. You feel the water from the sprinkler that waters the lawn, you hear the kids playing in the park, you might even find a cool coin on the ground. Quite often, riding a bike through town (certainly a congested city) is just as efficient as driving. Even when it's slower than driving, you'll see a lot more and be part of the action.

The reason I bought the BOB trailer 12 years ago was for a tour of the western states. On that trip I kept thinking to myself, 'The slower you go, the more you see". When you're looking down a long flat stretch of road and there's nothing coming up but a billboard, you really read that billboard. You THINK about that billboard - and thinking is not something that happens too often these days.

On the Midwest trip, I met riders that ride no matter what. Even in -30, which is damn cold. Weather in Colorado is pretty tame compared to Minneapolis. The trip was an inspiration. I met a guy named B Rose at the Cars R Coffins coffee/bike shop
He uses this sweet Surly 'Big Dummy' to make his rounds - it's a bike that can help you get just about anywhere. Check out the wood rack up front and the longboard platform on the back. Pretty sweet. A very cool bike for engaging the world around us.

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