Monday, May 13, 2013

Parking Space

Those were the words that rang in my head the day after our last "Bike To Work Day." I didn't have to worry about a "parking space." I knew right where I was going to put my kickstand down: in the back corner of my classroom, just like I have for more than a decade and a half. Bike To Work Day, for me, is a little like Amateur's Night. I have been fortunate for the past sixteen years that I have been able to negotiate the side streets of Oakland each morning and afternoon without too much stress or discomfort. Sure, it rains. Sure it's hot. Sure it's cold. That's weather. I've been uncomfortable inside a climate-controlled motor vehicle. This particular morning was pretty standard East Bay: gray and cool in the morning, warming to the upper sixties in the afternoon. That's another nice thing about my commute. I don't generally have to worry about drifts of snow impeding my progress. And for some magical, ironic reason, the trip to work is downhill, and the way home is up.
Maybe that's why there was no Energizer Station on the path to and from work for me. The miles I pedal each day probably don't require a lot of roadside assistance. There's a drinking fountain at school if I need it, and by the time I get home, I know how many stairs I have to climb before I collapse in a heap just inside the front door. That doesn't come up very often. It's just part of the way things roll, bicycle-wise.
Did I notice packs of other cyclists making their way to and from their busy days as I made my own? No. I may have picked just the wrong route or something. Or maybe all the real bike enthusiasts made the trip much earlier than I did. Or much later. Or maybe not at all. But if they did, they didn't have to worry about those two words, but they might have had some trouble trying to remember the combination to the lock they never use.

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