You Are Not Alone
I was inspired by Dottie’s picnic for one that she wrote about the other day, that I last minute decided to grab my blanket and toss it in my bike basket while heading out yesterday. The temperature was actually bearable (in the high 70s! what a dream!) and so after a few hours in the library, I decided to take my reading and research outside.
The beauty of working on a college campus is that there is no shortage of green and shade providing trees. You can just step outside of any given building and likely find a nice little spot where to enjoy the fresh air. I circled around a bit until I found a nice shady patch, parked my bike, and set up my reading spot. It was nice to see that I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the green and the great weather as several other cyclists lay sprinkled next to their bikes throughout the grass.
That evening, I thought I was all done with my bike rides for the day when T. came home and announced an outdoor concert taking place along the main street of our town. Friends of ours and their young daughters would be there – as well as free popcorn and balloon animals – so we hopped on our bikes once more and rode over there. Fortunately, I still had the blanket in my bike basket so I just pulled it out and we had impromptu seating for four. I was happy to see that we weren’t the only ones biking there, as we parked our bikes along a long line of others and joined the crowd. Afterwards, we took the long way home through a forested park and on meandering trails, effectively making my legs feel like rubber by the time the day was over.
I came to this conclusions yesterday: even when you feel like you’re a minority in something, you will likely find others who share your position and pursue a similar path. But you won’t start noticing those others until you open your eyes to the possibility of them being there. There is definitely a large majority of people here who get from point A to B by car, the sidewalks are decidedly empty of pedestrians for large parts of this town, and we are more than lacking in a bike friendly infrastructure (for the most part, bikes are expected to share the sidewalk).
And yet there is no absence of bikes parked on campus, around town, and along parking meters (for a lack of bike racks at oh so many places). On most days, I’m waving hello to several other cyclists as we pass each other on our commute and I’m usually having to fight for that space at the parking meter pole. I guess I never really noticed the presence of bikes before because I was looking out from my car, selectively seeing other drivers and vehicles. Now that I’m traversing town on two wheels, I’m continuously surprised by how many others there are out there, doing that very same thing. It just makes me wonder, what took me so long?