My job takes me on a new commute for the next three weeks through the suburb of Edina Minnesota so I will put behind me the St. Paul commute for now. While I will miss the morning ride into St. Paul, I won’t miss the afternoon ride from St. Paul to Minneapolis. All in all the up-hill climb from Downtown to Cathedral Hill after a day of sitting was my least favorite part of the ride. That and rush hour traffic along Marshall Ave., the bumpy ride on Dayton Ave, so as to avoid the bumpier Marshall Ave and the speeding traffic on Selby. Too bad about Selby since in the morning traffic is tolerable.
I’ll mostly miss the diversity of bike riders along the Greenway, River Road and city streets. One day there might be hordes of riders and the next hardly any at all. I’ll miss having spontaneous conversations with strangers. I’ll miss seeing familiar faces/bike riders that share similar schedules. I’ll miss the hot days of summer and perfect days. I won’t miss the headwinds that seem to blow from four directions. I’ll miss the two hours of my day that are solely mine. I’ll miss the daylight that is now fading with winter coming on.
I’m glad I had a camera to shoot pictures for this blog. I’m glad I rode 1000 miles in 7 weeks of daily commutes. I’m glad I did not have any confrontations with car drivers. I’m glad I didn’t have any close calls. I’m glad for the stamina I have built from this commute. I’m glad to have my Masi and Raleigh for commuter bikes. I’m glad I only had one flat and that the creaking crank is finally fixed on the Masi. I’m glad to have the opportunity to commute in Edina Minnesota since I have never had a good opinion regarding the friendliness of Edina streets or the car loving residents.
St. Paul MN with Mississippi River ..Native Americans once lived here in harmony with the land
In 1000 miles of bike riding there is a record of sorts to keep. I call it: By The Numbers—-Dailey miles ridden – 28. Number of roundtrip commutes – 35. Number of pictures taken used on blog post – 19. Number of wet afternoon commutes – 4. Number of wet morning commutes – 0. Number of hours bike riding -70. Number of hours not driving a car – 35. Number of gallons of gas not used-40. Number of times I wished I was driving a car – 0. Carbon foot-print – 0
Numbers do not make a bike ride come to life or what it is like to ride a bike and to leave a car at home. In these pages of blog posts I attempt to answer the nagging question, what is the purpose that bike riding serves? For me the bike ride is a continuum that strings every mile or city block from the first ride of my youth until my very last as a very old man. As if numbers from 7 weeks would be impressive, it is nothing but a blip on the continuum. Would the reader be more impressed that I rode a bike to work every day in Boston for five years? Would the reader be awestruck that I rode a bike in sub-zero temperatures -50 degrees F? This is what I do not who I am. There is very little redemption riding in a car. I will never identify with lazy car driving and I know this is in my head and heart. Once there was a time when we all believed in the American dream. That time is over, which we should all be thankful for, and maybe now we can get on with solid $hit like addressing how every little bit helps and I mean the help that pulling yourself up will make the difference in how our country will fair once this next election cycle winnows the weak from the strong.
The challenge facing the American people is to leave their car behind and ride bikes more. It is bull $hit to blame anyone but yourself for the problems that your car driving causes. Put a bike between your legs and become what you were meant to be in the land that once honored the people who tread on it.