So sometimes I need to ride in my suburb-city because I’m trying to ride every day for the #Biketober Atlanta Bike Challenge (Team “Trust the Journey”!) and I can’t always get into much-more-bike-friendly Atlanta. I refuse to ride on the streets where I live (see here) so I drive the two miles I used to ride to the nearest park and ride the multiuse path in circles until I reach four or seven or ten miles. It is mindless and connects to nothing.
“On your left,” I say to the eight walkers I pass — one with a stroller, four with dogs stretched wide, three walking next to each other so they block the path. “On your left again” I say as I loop them. “On your left one last time,” I say, ringing my little bell gently, trying to be pleasant. I actually meet nice people, and if I shift my head from thinking I’m “nowhere” to realizing I’m “now here,” I can find its beauty.
After riding yesterday, I threw my bike in the car and drove across the street to the book donation box (which I had originally arranged for inclusion at that church years ago so that money raised could benefit the food pantry garden my friends and I started there). I am cleaning out my life, boiling my personal belongings down to five storage boxes, and except for a few favorites, the books are on the chopping block. This book hit home as a reminder to why I don’t ride here anymore.
(If interested in what it’s like to ride a bike in suburban Atlanta — and perhaps in your suburb or city, too — see Chapter 2: Pedaling as Fast as I Can in my book.)