Bike rides are amazing. They provide exercise and transportation at the same time. So much scenery, so much people watching, so many smells, so many sounds.
And it’s amazing how much memory recall all these senses provide. As I biked past the beach on Lake Calhoun the smell of the lake transported me.
I was 17, playing games with campers in Lake Independence- keep away. With kids climbing all over us. Or 18, waterfront emergency drill, and a nail on the dock completely ripped my swimsuit.
Or I was 10, all camp swim, two week session, playing the color game with my friends.
And you miss it. A lot. All of it. The community, the people, the fun. The carefree attitude. I could write a book based on all my experience on that lake alone.
And zoom back to the present. The listening. Head phones are overrated. People are making sound all around us. Singing, talking, laughing. Or listening to their radios. Ray LaMontagne on the radio and my heart melts- is he singing to my soul? Moving me to passion, and communicating to my subconscious.
“On your left,” as you pass the families on their leisurely bike rides. “On your right,” to the girl biking slowly on the left. And I wonder about all the ways we police our actions and bodies. Walk on the right. Bike on the right. Drive on the right. Walk against traffic. Bike on the street. Sure, some are laws. Why are people so angry when runners run on the bike path? Why are drivers so angry when bikers bike on the roads? (Rhetorical, rhetorical.)
But that girl on the right, she’s doing nothing wrong, bothering no one, maybe she needs to turn off left. Maybe that little kid I passed a while back is her little brother. Siblings forced to hang out together, biking a distance apart.
And I remember that one time I almost got hit by a car when I was biking. I was seven.
And then I remember I am still biking and I pick my pace back up, since I dropped it somewhere back by the girl I passed.
I bike past the cemetery where I rolled down hills, leaning out the car door. “Thrill seeker.”
People are happy together. Living next to a Minneapolis lake is like having your own lake front. Pull up a lawn chair. Watch. Enjoy. Be grateful.
Struggle through the steep hills at the end of the ride. Feel the burn. The heat. The sweat. The stickiness of your clothes. Stop halfway before you start rolling backwards, and walk the rest.
The bike ride ends. “Thank god” your body thinks. “Over already?,” your mind replies.