Every Friday for the past month now, I have been biking to work. I have been wanting to do this now since we moved relatively closer to my work but not being extremely close and not feeling the most comfortable on my brothers old bike, I was still very cautious. So, a few months back I decided to finally buy myself a very nice commuter bike, outfit it with a front basket and bungy cords to strap on anything to the back and after watching the documentary No Impact Man– I finally decided to just do it. Take my car off the road for one day a week and get some much needed exercise while doing it. And believe it or not, the almost 10 miles were not so bad, in fact I rather enjoyed seeing a whole other side to this California city I very much dislike. In fact, these Friday rides have given me a reason to like this city and I am warming to the idea of it every time I get out on that road.
It’s as if I stumbled upon this natural treasure. Instead of SUV’s cutting me off and bumping over the same pot holes and hitting the same lights and listening to radio commercials with air conditioning blowing artificially into my face, I get to see wildflowers and wild bunnies and even the occasional coyote. The other day I even got to see a bobcat stare at me from the bike path and then jump into the bushes creating a frenzy of dogs barking from nearby houses. I had no idea this town even had bobcats!
I decided this past Friday to capture some of the images I see on my rides every week. I love the feeling seeing this nature gives me. It helps me appreciate Southern California’s open spaces, even though they are most often hidden behind the asphalt and brick walls.
On those Fridays I ride, I become more aware of my surroundings and I respect even the smallest of earths creatures. It’s good in my line of work to begin the day with this respect for the earth and I find it almost meditative riding my bike instead of driving.
I am trying to work up to a few days a week riding to work, but with so many things to get done in a day and the time it takes me to get home in the evenings, for now I will try and keep my once a week ride steady.
“Each new year is a surprise for us. We had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again, it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence… The voice of nature is always encouraging.”
-Henry David Thoreau