Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Impression: Biking

I had several bicycles, including an English racer, before I was 18, and I enjoyed biking very much, in southern Louisiana; and after I moved to New York I would think at different times, with longing, that I should get a bike but I did not; and, now, riding again, out of both opportunity and necessity, there are times when I enjoy it and times when I come close to hating it. My legs seem long for the bike and I hesitate to adjust the seat, as when I used to do this when young it would make the seat undependable (and the seat would sometimes fall at surprising times, which would be dangerous when riding in town, in or near traffic). Sometimes my knees hurt. It is hard riding against the wind, as I have on too many afternoons. I have had three accidents: one when startled by traffic behind me, when I went into a ditch; two, when a broken, small branch entered the spokes of the back tire while I road on a sidewalk in New Iberia (I didn't fall but I still refer to this as an accident, as it was undesired and unplanned, interrupted my ride, and damaged part of the bike); and three, when on the road soon after leaving the house, I was distracted by my own anxious thoughts and the front wheel twisted all around and I fell. I worry about having a serious accident, of having a bone broken, or of dying. I notice, too, that there aren't very many people using bikes--and on most days I notice no one on a bike, though on some days I have seen a few people (usually very young or very old). It is interesting to me that there are more people in New York using bikes (I remember this from a few months ago; and I was just reading an internet article, today, on bike riding in New York and how police are trying to control it). Here, there are a lot of trucks and cars and tractors and a few motorcyles, especially large American trucks (trucks made by the companies that are doing so badly in terms of national sales). Biking is good excercise, both exhilarating and exhausting; and the landscape I ride through is often charming, soothing; and I would not have guessed that I could dislike biking.