Saturday, September 12, 2015

In Which We Talk Trash and Death

Friday morning--lube and air ready for bikes.
On Friday, the morning began with a bit of bike maintenance on my personal fleet. I took 10 minutes to pump up tires, squirt WD40 on derailleurs and grease my chains. I hope to get a mountain bike in shape to ride soon—and then I’ll have three CR Biker bikes to maintain.

Then I had to choose which bike to ride. I have used Francis a lot this week, because my old bike is more convenient for hauling books and such to work. Argent is the faster, more fun bike to ride. Then I recalled my wife would be on campus late for a nursing ceremony, which meant I could put my heavy stuff in the van she was driving, so I opted for Argent.

I decided I might as well be on the fast, fun bike Friday, because it was the day of the first MMU Bike Club ride.

Courtesy of MMU Bike Club, three more bikes have been added this year to the fleet of bikes MMU students can check out at the Lundy exercise center. Check them out, students.

It had to be a short ride. Campus Ministry reserved all campus bikes for an event later, and I had volunteered to take some photos for the sophomore nursing “white coat” ceremony, and the club president had some other event at 5.

At 4 p.m., three students had showed up—Mark and Lloyd, two club officers, and a freshman nursing student with an unspellable name. Not that it was a hard name to spell—it was Sara or Sarah, I assume—but I did not ask.

Students getting ready for MMU bike club ride.

Bike club tradition--CR Biker takes a group picture of students before the ride.

The cool afternoon was a gorgeous for a ride. The students let me lead as we headed off towards the Cedar River Bike Trail.

The riders were in a lighthearted mood, which was good. Lloyd and Mark chatted about their journey up Mount Trashmore—a local “Meet Me at the Market” ride, held Thursday, had started at the New Bo Market. I had skipped the event, although I wish I could have gone, but there was a Vietnam Series speech that night, and I don’t regret attending that presentation.

Besides trash talk , or at least Mount Trashmore talk, the amiable chitchat was about death. The first-year student who joined us comes from a funeral home-owning family, and Mark, a business student, has had some internships in the mortuary business.

Circling Cedar Lake.

Anyway, when we got to Cedar Lake, I let the students take the lead. Lloyd, who is fast on a bike, zoomed ahead. On Argent, I was pretty confident I could keep up with most of the MMU bikes, at least those that didn’t zoom at Lloyd speed, and indeed I could. We probably never topped 14 mph, but it was a fun, comfortable ride. In total, in about 45 minutes, we went about 8 miles, circling the lake twice before heading back to campus.

Varied the route on the way back to MMU--used the bike lanes on H Avenue.

Once back on campus, I played event photographer. In my neon biking shirt and jeans, I’m sure I was the stereotypical picture of a scruffy photographer at the event in the chapel, but that’s what I was.

Afterwards, I shot a couple of pictures on the Rohde Plaza as I was heading home, riding Argent. The light was beautiful as the sun set on a perfect, cool, early fall biking day.

The bike club will ride again Monday, probably without me since I doubt the faculty meeting will be over by 4, but I hope more students show up—the rides are not too challenging, and it’s a way to meet others and learn about bike routes near MMU. Plus, you might learn about old garbage dumps or funeral rituals. So, MMU students, in the immortal words of the rock band Queen: “Get on your bikes and ride!”

Sunset at Rohde Plaza (above) on the MMU campus. Catherine McAuley with a golden glow (below).

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