I ride my bicycle

Yesterday I made my favorite bicycle trip in Minneapolis.

I start at Rob's house which is near the Minnehaha Falls.

I go past the falls and see the statue of Hiawatha with Pocahontas wading in the waters of the creek.

I ride the trail that goes along the creek past Lake Nokomis and then out to Lake Harriett.

It's about five miles each way to go all the way around Lake Harriett and then take the bike path back again to the falls and to Rob's house.

I'm not a spandex rider. I'm a cute bike with wicker baskets and wearing a sundress kind of rider.

I absolutely love to ride my bike.

I first started riding my bike around when I lived in Park Ridge which is a northern suburb of Chicago.

In like 1970 I started riding my bicycle all over my neighborhood, exploring.

I didn't ride fast then and I don't now. I rode slowly to look at the tree branches meeting in the middle above the streets.

I rode slowly to stop and pick up turtles or frogs and move them to safety.

Yesterday I stopped to congratulate many proud duck parents out with their ducklings waddling across the paths.

When I'm out on my bike I'm silent, I'm not using any fuel but my own, I'm not making any pollution, I'm not hurting anything or anyone.

And I'm Free!

The other thing to say about the ride yesterday is that I had my favorite destination from last year in mind when I set out.

Last year I stopped quite often at the Lake Harriett bandshell pavilion and bought myself some kind of treat.

Yesterday I was thrilled to see that they were open for the season and I bought myself a seared walleye sandwich and a glass of cava.

Cava and a walleye sandwich proved to be the best lunch in the world.

The sandwich is perfectly prepared: the walleye itself was beautiful, the dill tartar sauce they make themselves was divine, big slices of ripe tomato, crisp shredded lettuce.

You gotta go.

But I swear, getting in and out by car would wreck the whole thing.

In my humble opinion, driving around in cars sucks.

Don't get me wrong, I love my car, it's all paid for, it's a Jeep, and I love it.

But it's so delightful to literally breeze past all the cars lined up at the stoplights and just keep on riding!

Bicycles are freedom.

Well, okay, I don't know that a Chinese factory worker in the middle of a bicycle traffic jam on the way to work could agree with me.

But I can only work with what I've got.

Also, I have a memory of an old man up on Lake Vermilion, a guy who lived full time out on Birch Point when I was a young girl.

He must have been in his eighties when, one morning in mid summer, I happened to be out walking my family dog past his place.

I was maybe ten years old.

He was out in the middle of his driveway tinkering in front of his garage with an old bicycle.

The garage door was wide open and I could see that this guy had a lifetime of boat motors and everything else in that garage.

As my dog and I were walking past his property he saw me and waved.

Then he got up on that bicycle and started pedaling.

He was wobbly at first and I thought he might fall.

I stood and watched him.

He got going pretty smoothly and took the bike out onto the road.

He headed down in the direction we were going so I kept walking with the dog, watching the man on his bicycle.

He went for a while and then made a fairly smooth u turn and headed back, coming towards us.

When he got up close I could see his face, beaming with the biggest toothy old smile you can possibly imagine.

Just as he was passing me, this man I had never spoken to and didn't know at all shouted out, 

"I feel like I'm eighteen again!"

That's the spirit!

That's what a bicycle ride can do!

Roll on summer!


Courtney May 27, 2018 @11:59 pm
Jeff! Thank you for the nice feedback! I appreciate your reactions to this blog experiment of mine. Thank you.
Jeff Parkman May 27, 2018 @11:17 am
Enjoyed your story about your bike ride. Makes me want to get mine down from where it is hanging in my garage! Also liked hearing about your helping the little animals on the bike path. Shows your warm heart.
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