Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Biking In The In-Between Times

Me this morning between leaving the house and getting on the bike, in the 7:15 a.m. light. 
The sun is just up so I  need shades, but I thought of lights, too.
As the year starts to fade towards the darker months, I find myself biking a bit more during the in-between times.

This morning, the sun was low in the eastern sky, creating glares that made me want shades (and I carry clip-ons in my manly murse, so it was all good).  Yet, the shadows were still long enough and deep enough that I considered running with lights.  In the end, I decided that my vest was bright enough.

Last night, bell choir practice ended at 6, so then I headed home around 6:15.  Six is still light out, we’re not into the December days of darkness falling somewhere between 4 and 5, but still, it was pushing 7 and pushing the quality of light by the time I got home.

Audrey had some grandkids over, and they had eaten already, so I fixed myself a quick omelet and then offered Tristan a ride home on my bike.

Sadly, that put the idea into Nikayla’s head that she wanted a ride, too—but she has grown to the point where I don’t think she fits well into the small-child seat that I have.  Eventually, I would like to get one of those “ride along” bikes that would attach to my bike—but I think she would have to be big enough to sit on a small bicycle to use that.

Right now she’s in between.

I can hitch the trailer to Audrey’s bike and tow her—and I hope to do that soon—but the view from the trailer and the experience of being towed isn’t as cool as being up on the bike seat.  It’s an experience in between not biking and being really engaged in it.

Tristan loved the ride home with the sky darkening from pale blue to purple and the clouds turning pink.  We rode with lights on and both of us had reflective vests.  We were on the sidewalk most of the way, and quiet streets, otherwise, so despite the dusky in between hour of our ride, we had a good journey.

“I’m happy,” he assured me, something he sometimes says when he’s nervous because maybe he got in a little trouble lately.  His little hands gripped my arms as he assured me of his happy state—and I think he was being honest, he was a bit nervous being out in the twilight, but happy, too.

I was thinking in between thoughts this morning as I pedaled to work, this time in the gathering light.  I was between Kenwood School and a Rockwell Collins plant when I heard a noise that was way too familiar.  A low percussive sounds, a painful “snap.”

I guess I’m lucky it wasn’t one of my tendons.  It was a spoke, and the back wheel has a wobble.

Well, with one broken spoke I could proceed slowly to work.  If a tube had blown, I would have been stopped.  Although, on the other hand, I carry a spare tube and have a bike pump with me, so I could have repaired that damage.

Anyway, here’s to in between times.  Until Audrey picks me up and I take my bike in and get that spoke replaced, I’m in between bike commutes.  I am hoping to get back to two wheels again soon.

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