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Scare Yourself Summer

Be Careful

“Be Careful” is really fitting when surrounded by speeding cars.

Fear’s an odd thing.

I don’t feel like I’m afraid of many things but I find myself apprehensive in some activities.

Usually it’s telling someone off or asking someone out or expressing an original opinion that might be really against the grain. Yet in other situations I have little problem standing up and saying, “No” or “That’s shit” or refusing to go along with an plan or idea.

Not at all sure why.

Yet when Bob invited me to join this movement I wasn’t sure what to face. Dressing the way I’ve envisioned myself dressing? Being the leader that people expect of me? Or becoming more active?

So I went with activity.

I know a fair number of bicycle commuters.

Be spandexed, toe clipped, clicky shoe wearing bike commuters.

A high bar to pass under to join this elitist group of carbon bike riding fanatics.

Yet I felt I could at least ride… somewhere… maybe to the store… or the bar… or perhaps work?

So I bought a bike.

Not the one I really wanted.

That one is a heavy nearly 2 grand monstrosity. Classic lines and proven technology but if I fail at this that’s a huge sum to lose. Instead I bought a much less expensive hybrid bike.

Didn’t have the look I wanted, nor the style… not much else but if I failed at least it shouldn’t be hard to off load.

As weird as it sounds as I stood there, ready to pay for this bike, all this passed through my mind.

My transition to bike commuting began slow.

As I tried to keep riding to somewhere. Usually a few miles from my home, a few hills in the way, nothing too serious but at least I was getting out. Then my friend Freedom told me I should ride to work.

I made excuses.

Fear, worry, failure, falling off the Ballard Bridge and being chopped up by a tug boat in the Ship Canal.

You know the usual.

Still “Scare Yourself Summer”.

Train Yard

I pass really close to trains as part of my commute

I rode to work on a sunny day two hours before my call was to start.

I made it to work in under 50 minutes despite stopping to rest a few times.

I made it home in 40 minutes.

Since then I tried to ride 3 days a week until last week another friend told me to try for four days.

My commutes have settled into about as long as it took to bus to work and four days is only one more day then three, right?

So I did it.

And this week was much the same.

Now I don’t expect to convert anyone. After all I still think I’m a fair weather commuter. When the first rains come and the weather is shit will I still do this is a whole other thing? I’m not at all sure but what I do know is the views I get from my bike beat nearly anything I’ve seen on the bus. So for the moment I’m going to keep going and plan to look for some rain gear.

A friend pointed me toward a high visibility long coat and I should get some fenders… but for now I can only enjoy the warm summer temperature, salty wind, and evening views.

The Ballard Bridge at night.

The Ballard Bridge at night.

Categories: Scare Yourself
  1. Cindy Murrell
    August 7, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Wow– this is a big change and commitment! You have inspired me to at least walk to work (15 minutes) more often. I love your point about the views– I will have to visit Seattle one day! Dave Edwards’ son just moved there. Thanks for sharing the blog, Sal– it’s good to hear from you! I think of you every time I use your Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes (or was it the Revolting Recipes?) in class! 😀

  1. August 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

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