Driving and Biking in the Big City

Biking with a mission

with one comment

Blue Streak

On Sunday, I had a destination for my bike ride. It was a chore that needed to be done whether on two wheels or four. When my bike ride has a mission, I feel the rush of my native Texas roots. I take my trusty steed on a necessary errand. It inflames my pioneer blood and makes me feel independent of the trappings of modern convenience. I am a wanderer of Western heritage who faces the world with spirit, strength and independence. I saddle up, ride off into the sunset, and, in this case, head to Walgreens to buy Big Johnny some Mucinex for his terrible allergies.

I prefer a bike ride with a destination. I’ve traveled my same trails so frequently that it feels a bit new when I have a purpose in mind. I also embrace my inherent roots as — in the ’70s words of Carol King — a natural woman and — in the oaths from my days as a den mother and Girl Scout co-leader in the aurora environment of Michigan —  as a good scout who leaves the world a better place by my being here.

In my early days of biking and before the Harris County Public Library system provided downloads for audible books, I saved my Sunday afternoons for the 20-mile trip back and forth to the Atascocita Library. It is my closest library that is open on Sundays (Kingwood is not) so I would have my books on CD delivered to Atascocita for a Sunday pickup. Otherwise, it was tough to get to any library on weekdays before the typical closing time of 6 p.m. with my commute from the Texas Medical Center.

Many rides, I would take Blue Streak because she has a great wicker basket that is big enough to load my library  books — both for return and for new check outs.  She is a mountain bike, most often called a touring bike, and has many “maw-maw” features. First of all, she has a kick stand.  I would love for Streak to have one, but none fit on such a fast, light-weight and powerful bike. Purple Streak, my hybrid and first love, has a kick stand, too. Otherwise, Blue Streak  is shaped like what we called in the olden days a “girl bike” with no high bar.

I’ve ridden to meet my book club, Buff’s Page Turners, for dinner but that was when the days were long and I could snag a ride home. My most frequent bike ride with a mission is when I load Streak in the back of Vinny, drive to Dan’s for an oil change, unload and ride home, only to do it all over again when Vinny is road worthy again.

To be a successful pioneer with a mission, you have to be prepared. I have my belly bag that fits my keys, smart phone and a bit of emergency cash. I have my Sansa for easy listening of my books on tape. And, when your chore is to buy Mucinex, you need a photo ID to verify your identity before signing a disclaimer that you are not doing anything illegal with the purchase.

Streak is high performance and speedy and not laden with baskets, storage space and fru-fru. But, there is room for a light weight backpack of the new, sleek variety. These new backpacks feel almost like you are not hauling anything extra. I have it folded and stored away in a small compartment below the seat in case I make purchases along my way. Streak also has two areas for water bottles to allow for longer rides and much dehydration. We also know places along the way to replenish our water — water fountains and the local YMCA, to name a few.

Sometimes, if I’m going to linger, I bring reading material or Sudoku. I’ve been known to load binoculars for bird watching. At a far away river park, Big Johnny and I have had a low calorie picnic because we both prefer light travel and have few options. Sometimes, I’ve gone along with a notepad, in case writing inspiration strikes me.

Bizarrely and cosmically, even when I don’t have a mission in mind, I seem to know exactly which path I will take when I hop on Streak for an evening ride. It may be five miles, 10 miles or the occasional 20.  I may head to the right or left out of the driveway, but the right way hits me as soon as I straddle the seat. Streak and I are one. We are decisive. We are pioneers for the moment.  We are in touch with the road, nature and the creatures along the way. Nothing escapes our attention. Everything is an adventure. We are ready to ride. We are on a mission.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

November 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Biking with a mission. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: