Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bike Hikes

Temperature at departure = 64° F (18° C)

I really don't consider myself to be THAT old ... but summers were sure different for me than they are for my kids. No video games, our TV had 4 channels and stayed off because all that was on was reruns and other than Vacation Bible School there were no organized "camps." I spent my early childhood summers at the pool, playing G.I. Joes, badminton, croquet, "army" and hide-and-go-seek with the other kids in the neighborhood. And, of course, there were many, many bike hikes. That's what we called them. "Mom, Tim and I are going on a bike hike" and off we'd go; no plans or destinations, just ride.

Why do I bring it up? Since gas prices have climbed to ~4 dollars a gallon people I talk to assume that is the reason I'm riding my bike now. This morning, as I headed towards the stairs with Bucephalus, some guy waiting for the elevator looked at me and said something along the lines of "That's one way to save on gas." I know he (and all the others) are being friendly and are, in truth, looking for an answer to that problem in their own lives -- but that isn't why I ride. I also don't ride because it's good for my body or for the environment. All of those things are valid reasons and are certainly benefits. I ride because it is fun -- plain and simple.

As I exited the second floor stairway door I met the same guy from the floor below and had the chance to say "I've been doing this for years just for the fun of it." And fun it is. It came to me that I may, on some level, be reaching back for that feeling I got during all those early bike hikes. And why not.

I don't mean to rant and welcome those who are tired of gas prices to join me on the bike path. Just follow the rules, please. Perhaps they'll come for other reasons and discover the unexpected benefit of sheer fun.

Added bonus: Wildflowers in the park at 119th and Tomahawk Creek Parkway just west of Mission Road.

The picture above doesn't really do justice to how large an area they've used to plant these wildflowers.

Let's see, I could look at stuff like this or be stuck in traffic somewhere... Hmmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

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