Thursday, May 05, 2011

Bike Commute 2011 - Day 6

Every notice that when you travel by air you can't count the places you fly over as having been there?  I feel the same way about driving.  You pass through places, you aren't really there.  When someone calls and asks where you are you say, "Crossing Main Street," or "Just coming up on Hooterville."  You're never, "At the museum," unless that's you're destination.

One of the things about riding your bike to places, rather than just riding around, is that you feel much more like you are actually AT the places you ride through or by.  You see more because of the slower speed and the all around view.  You experience the cold or rain, or heat and sun, and there's no escape.

On the other hand if you aren't careful it will get to be just like driving there in the car.  While car commuting I often don't remember the trip because I was on auto-pilot.  While riding I rarely go on auto-pilot, but sometimes I get more caught up in the RIDING than in the BEING.  I'm concerned about the gears or the state of the bike or how fast I'm going.  I ride in my own little world and it doesn't much matter where I actually am.

The other thing that contributes to that is the stopping.  When you fly over some place or when you drive past some place, you don't stop.  You aren't THERE, you are approaching there, near there, and then past there.  You never ARE there.  When I'm running late or want to see just how fast I can make the trip, I often would never consider stopping and being there.

The reason I'm keeping this journal about my commute, and the reason I'm sharing it, is because I never want to develop a bike commute auto-pilot.  I want each trip to be an adventure.  Not a scary, don't know what's going to happen next, we might all die, Poseidon Adventure.  I want a, we are going camping this weekend adventure.
Back of dogwood house
Front of dogwood house

IN - Smelled skunk all through Mundelein today, didn't see one though. Very cold 39o and my eyes started watering. That was new. Pretty quick and quiet ride. I had to guesstimate my start time because I forgot to look until I got to Hawley and Lake in Mundelein. Something I noticed again today, sometimes there is a freight train sitting and waiting south of Abbott Park. I don't know why they do that.

HOME - There was a big southerly wind today. Maybe it was SSW because sometimes it was straight in my face. I swear I could feel it pushing against my bags. I spent the trip looking for the dogwood tree I wanted to take a photo of, and anything else that would make a good picture. I noticed a lot of things. Despite the wind it was a pretty good ride. It took 51 minutes, but considering I took two photos and had to take a detour to get the front picture it was fine. The tree in the photo was completely bare last week when I started riding, now look at it. I wanted to take a back and front picture because on the trail I get to see the backs of all the houses and businesses. I think sometimes the difference will be striking. BTW, I have no idea who lives here or even where it is exactly, it just struck my eye.

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