Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Alone on Two Wheels around Atlanta

Yesterday, I took this photo of a turtle on the Silver Comet Trail some twenty miles west of Atlanta.  Solitary, shielded, shy, steady on a long road:  I feel strong kinship with this little creature, helmeted, wrapped in my own thoughts for hours, trying to average 16 m.p.h.

I started riding in 1991 with Jason, a bike enthusiast in my class of 8th graders.  I needed to lose weight, so he repaired my bike and showed me places to ride where we lived in Mississippi, especially on the Natchez Trace, in Vicksburg battlefield park, and around the Barnett Reservoir.  (We met again for rides last year.)  Lose weight, I did, but I also learned how suited cycling is to my temperament.

A smart phone adds a soundtrack to the experience.  Sometimes it's music -- I favor Broadway and "80s Cardio" -- but more often I have Atlanta's NPR station WABE along for the ride.  Good-willed, thoughtful conversations concern politics, science, religion, literature, movies, sports, and -- well, all things considered in this American life.  On Saturday mornings for the past six years, pedestrians and drivers along the way from the Martin Luther King Center downtown to the Stone Mountain Park have seen this lone biker laughing out loud during Car Talk and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.   The ride has become a ritual that helps me let go the anxieties about personal and world affairs that build up during a typical week.

Riding my bike is the only thing I do that feels like the only thing I should be doing.

1 comment:

George said...

I enjoyed this post, Scott. Thanks for posting the link on Facebook.