Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Sense of Place

Cycling is by its very nature something that is local. While bikes are portable (and I certainly take mine on many of my trips out of town), at the end of the day you walk out the door, swing your leg over the frame, hop onto your bike and pedal away. You are immersed in your environment - smells, sounds, and sights are all enhanced by the fact you're cruising by slowly enough to take it in.

Something I never realized until I got out of my car is how isolated an environment a car can be. You're surrounded by metal and glass, with climate control typically listening to something you like. While there's a certain beauty in rolling down the road with the windows down singing along to the radio, I get the same sensation almost every time I get on my bike. I am not typically one to listen to my headphones while cycling, so I have committed several songs to memory so that I can provide my own (off key, off beat) soundtrack as I roll down the road.

As of today, it's September - for many parts of the country, the start of fall is almost here. For those of us from Texas, September is the light at the end of the oven-like tunnel that is high summer. It stays (by most people's standards) hot for a few more months here, but 90 degrees is, for us, a 15-20 degree drop from our most severe temperatures. It feels downright cool by comparison, like spring come again. It makes me want to ride, rediscover my sense of place.

I love riding with a destination in mind - something that makes the journey just a little bit sweeter. Sometime in the next week I think I'll take a bit of a picnic and go visit the Hi How Are You Frog. It's one of my favorite spots in town and of late it's been too hot to go joyriding. It's the joyrides that for me create my sense of place. You ride, with a destination that's purely for fun. Ride to the pool, ride to a piece of art, ride to a restaurant or a park, visit a friend, go to a festival.

The TARDIS cools its heels outside the 2011 Austin Hot Sauce Festival

Fall is almost here! Go outside and play.

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