Friday, December 22, 2006
Craycroft by Campus Bike
Today I used my campus bike to ride back to the office from an errand on the Air Force Base. An adventure of sorts and I’ll make a note in the blog. The Base has a one of the best places in town to get your car fixed. 22x needed a new pair of struts and I had to leave her there all day. My problem was that I needed to get back to work somehow.
Craycroft Ave flows into the main entrance of the Base, and its about 4 or 5 miles from my office. There’s a wide bike lane all the way—so I will simply bike back to my office. But Craycroft is so busy and clogged with traffic… Driving to the Base sucks because every old retired ex-military fart is in town and going to the base for cheap shit they don’t need—made cheaper by the fact that you don’t have to pay taxes. So they drive slow and create a big fucking traffic jam—and there’s no way around them.
Okay—I get the campus bike out of my bike locker, throw it in the trunk of 22x, and drive to DM. I drop off the car, and now I’m on base and going to pedal back to work.
I’ve not ridden the campus bike this far except on the trails near Dog Mtn. I can still ride pretty fast, and I cover a lot of ground—the bike lanes on Craycroft are wide—and believe it or not, I’m riding faster and further than traffic, because, and I can see them, all the ex-military snow birds and making their way to where ever it is they go. And the road has a slight descent going North--cool--so I get some speed.
It is a bit brisk, Gentle Reader, and I will tell you that early last summer I found a pair of perfectly good work gloves on the ground when biking in one day. I saved them in my bike locker for a rainy day or cold day—and I got to use them. That made me happy because it was just cold enough for gloves while riding. I also stashed a pair of Tony Hawk skateboard shoes in my locker as well. I was glad to have an extra pair of sturdy shoes because all I wear are sandals (that are formal for the office) and not good footwear for commuting on busy streets.
I must say that, yeah, Craycroft was a cold dirty busy street—but there were glimpses of beauty and living things living despite our thoughtlessness. There were huge trees with branches stretching out, and I could kind of tell that younger trees of the same heritage as the big grandfather trees had fanned out over the landscape of the dingy neighborhoods right off this Grande Allez. Even small ones were growing thought cracks in the cement and pavement.
This has meaning and one day I might understand the language and strategies of a forest, and even an urban forest at that. But I am afraid that the life I’ve been allotted, which I hope is long and fulfilled, is not quite enough to unfold this mystery today.