I joined up with the local bicycle club here and–now that the air is no longer cold enough to rob unsuspecting people of their phalanges–I went on a ride Saturday. The description online noted the route is “slightly hilly,” the meaning of which is quite different in south Louisiana than in western Washington state. I have a feeling that if I ever face an actual hill again, I will be quite frightened to go down it. Flashbacks may ensue.
Anyway, the ride was perfect. I did about 30 miles at a very reasonable pace, which isn’t much of a feat for big bike heads but was just what I needed to feel comfortable on the bike again and get some exercise and fresh air. The ride consisted of some pleasant creek crossings and plenty roadkill sightings. Being on a bike brings you startlingly aware of a lot of things you otherwise may not notice in such detail: terrain, the curves and cracks of a road, the fresh-manure smell of the country air, the gentle flow of small rivers, and the snarl of smashed possums.
There were a few busy highway crossings, and I was happy to have my fantastic tail light, the Blinky Superflash, which maker Planet Bike named after history’s most underrated hair metal band from the 1980s. Or so you would think.
One thing I didn’t expect when I became self-employed is that I’d forget holidays like MLK Jr. Day exist to the rest of society. When I remembered it was a holiday, I delightfully gave myself a day off. It’s fun to surprise yourself this way. A MeetUp.com group I joined hosted a kayaking trip near Pearl River. The weather and the company was pleasant, although I’m paying for the 8 mile paddle with some pretty sore shoulders today. For all the years I’ve lived in the New Orleans area, I had never paddled the rivers and bayous around here until recently–and probably didn’t realize they exist. How lucky we are that they do.