Thursday, July 05, 2007

Trying something new

In an effort to be healthy, save some money, and make the environment happy, I've decide to ride my bike to stores within a mile or two of my house. Living in the American South where sprawl is king, the number of stores within biking distance are rather limited. Fortunately me, Target and my LYS are completely within the biking radius and I've ridden to both. Both trips have given me a brand new perspective regarding biking, driving, and the city in which I live.

First, biking
Bikers (and pedestrians) have the right away. I knew this fact, but unfortunately, not all the motorists I encountered knew this fact. Well, I like to think they didn't know it. That is a much happier thought than thinking they knew it and found great pleasure in scaring the devil out of cyclists.

Also, Target and my LYS seem very close to my house if I drive there, but they are much farther away when you bike there, much, much farther away, especially in 96 F with a humidity of 76%. I should also get a bike basket instead of wearing a backpack to hold my purchases because my back gets pretty sweaty in 96 F with a humidity of 76%. I may also want to get my own bike before I get a bike basket and return my SIL bike to her, since I've been borrowing it for the last two years. After I get my own bike, I will definitely knit up the saddlebags from Vogue. Who knows, maybe the knitted Vogue saddlebags will make my biking experience more chic as well.

Now, on to cars
Bikers and pedestrians have the right of way, and most motorists are completely oblivious to this. Riding a bike on any major road in this city translates to a very exciting bike ride, and not always in the "wee, this is fun" sense of exciting. I discovered I'm very good at breaking.

I also found I envied the smug motorist with their air conditioning. "At least I was being fit and exercising," I would think to myself. Then a daunting hill would come into my sights and I quickly lost any smugness as I tiredly pedaled up the hills. I almost wondered on some of the hills if my pedaling was doing any good.

Finally, my town
My town has a lot more hills than I realized. Growing in central Tennessee, I was surrounded by hills. Living now in the delta, there is nary a hill in sight, unless you are biking and it is 96 F outside. Then there are hills every where. But hey, those knitted saddlebags are gonna luck darn cute.

In addition to biking around town, I learned how to put in a light fixture. I have this thing for lighting fixtures. In both of our houses, I almost immediately change out lighting fixtures. I'm not sure why they mean as much to me as they do, but they seem to add a very personal touch to a room. Generally, I hold the tools while Italian changes the fixture, but this time, I felt the need to be liberated and learn how to do it myself (with Italian there to talk me through it of course).

We took down the brass fixture in the kitchen and replaced it with a nice new nickel plated light. It looks amazing up! Italian and I stood back and admired our work. As we looked at the new light in the kitchen, we realized the rest of the kitchen doesn't quite match the light. I think we may have more work to do.


olympiablue said...

You are a brave, brave soul to ride your bike in this area. I often fear for my safety traveling on foot around these parts and my bike has been in our shed for three years and counting! I wish it were different!

paula said...

You've inspired me, I use to ride my bike, but have'nt in years. I think I'll shake the dust and cobwebs off it and when the kids start back at school ride it to my local stores, But i'm going to buy a basket first!!!

Nana Clover said...

Now that you mention it, the light fixture in my kitchen looks just like your old one....Hmmmmmm. I love change. Wonder what Papa Clover's doing tonight!