Sunday, July 13, 2014

Guest Blogger 7/13/2014

The Thrill of Two Wheels

It was a Shazam! moment. I was winding my way around Road Closed barriers, trying to find the secret to getting home on a day like any other when it hit me.

Our road is no longer busy.

For fourteen years, we've lived in this haunted rambling house situated on a very busy two-lane road. (Wow! Has it really been that long? And to think we still have boxes we haven't unpacked.) During the last few weeks (or maybe months), the road has been changing. Undergoing a metamorphosis so severe it baffles delivery folk, ties postal workers in knots, confuses inspection personnel, and twitterpates construction workers.

You see, our busy, two-lane road is becoming a four-lane superpower, but in the process it has moved away from our humble abode. The remnant of that two-lane street is now re-paved and blocked at both ends. From being right beside a noisy expressway, we've moved without moving onto a quiet cul-de-sac.

And it took me until last week to realize exactly what that meant.

Our road is no longer busy. Our *road* is *no longer* *busy!* OUR ROAD IS NO LONGER BUSY!

Do you get it? Do you see? Is it a Shazam! moment for you, too?

I've dabbled in bicycles for years off and on, because I truly like the way being on a bike feels, but it was just too dangerous to ride around here, and who wants to lug the bike out, dump it in the truck, drive to somewhere else, heave the bike out, and then ride around an unknown neighborhood? And then, to top it off, when you're done riding and all hot and sweaty and tired, you have to do it all again. Backward.

But now, now - do you see? - NOW the road is no longer busy. It's no longer dangerous to ride on our quiet little street, and the back way connects to literally miles of quiet country roads.

On Friday, Harry and I bought (again) bicycles. He was easy to convince because I think he likes bikes, too. We made our purchase in Stockton at the close of the business day, and had to wait to pick up our new toys until Saturday. They are both Trek 100 models, if you know bikes and care for the details. His is black and grey, mine black and blue. I thought that appropriate since I expected to be bruised and sore after riding for the first time in years.

We had lights and odometers put on both of them, and got a six-foot locking cable and a silly-looking bike helmet for Harry (I already have one). Saturday was 105 degrees or so, so we waited until evening to ride, and then put about three miles on our new odometers. On Sunday, we pedaled up to the local Walmart, purchased light bulbs, and pedaled back. And I made it both nights without collapsing!

Today I was told the air quality is horrid and with my asthma I shouldn't be out in it, so I'm staying in. But inside, I'm yelling. Can you hear me? MY ROAD IS NO LONGER BUSY!

Copyright 2014 Michelle Hakala


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