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Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Bike Makes me Wonder

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I see and hear many things when I'm on my bike that might otherwise go unnoticed. This morning I stopped to read a plaque on the bridge indicating it was dedicated by Pat Binns on August 26, 1998, & sponsored by Strait Crossing. Who even knew this plaque was there? How could I have lived here on and missed an entire bridge construction?

Just on my short commute to work I see unusual items or for that matter perfectly ordinary things that jump out at me.
I once saw fifteen baby seals playing on a cement slab during low tide. The slab used to be part of the old bridge. I was able to stop and enjoy them.
I'm used to seeing the cormorants on the cement pillars, wings spread but it's only on my bike that I noticed their skinny little necks sticking out of the water as they glide to the cement pillars to join their friends.

Once a circular saw blade flew off the back of a truck with great speed and flung itself in my direction. Luckily, it missed me by inches but for an instant I had visions of being sawed in half like one of those sexy gals in the boxes at magic shows, only it would be much more gruesome and definitely less sexy. Moments like this jolt me back to realizing how potentially dangerous it can be and forces me to question why I choose to ride my bike over a busy and dangerous bridge daily. Then I remember things like how on both sides of the bridge I smell the wild roses that are on the causeway section before it actually becomes a bridge. Wild white on the way to work, wild pink on the way home. This type of rose always make me think of my mother so that's especially nice each day. I feel she is with me, at least in my thoughts. I would miss that brief moment if speeding by in my car. When the rose scent leaves the clover scent happens just as I come off the bridge--that is if not interrupted by the pungent exhaust from an older vehicle or interrupted by the air brakes of a transfer truck.

I see cranes with their skinny stick legs standing in the water, and as I'm looking I notice the bright green moss covering a large piece of driftwood, very nice...but I also notice the seemingly new, very expensive NIKE sneaker on the side of the road and I wonder if anyone actually misses it and how it got there, same with the shiny Volkswagon hub cap.

I note the very large seagull on top of the streetlight everyday. I think it might always be the same one, but I will never know. Another time I came across a dead crow surrounded by other crows...maybe a crow funeral. I felt like I was intruding as they quickly flew away when I slowly rolled closer, me being a little creeped out at the idea of a dead crow in my path. I also am treated each day to seeing another crow, the same one everyday. He's special, I recognize him because he has a white feather sticking out of his back. He's usually alone. I wonder why.

Every day, even on the hottest of days I meet a gothy looking young man all dressed in black, he has long black hair, he sports a set of bulky seventies headphones, and carries a walking stick. Every day he nods at me. I nod back.

I say hello to the flaggers, no time for that in my car. I feel the breeze in my face. Cleansing.

Also, for some reason I see many black straps with "S" hooks on each end that have obviously come loose from holding something which I worry might fly off and hit a biker because of the absence of these straps. I sometimes stop and pick them up cause they seem useful. So far I have collected three.

Once I saw underwear and a brush situated close to each other. Disturbing. I did not pick either of those up , but it made me wonder how they got there overnight.
And the bonus...and I know I shouldn't, but if I choose to I can ride by all the cars in the line up waiting at the red light. I can go right up to the curb and then wait for the light myself and still get home faster than if I was in one of those cars. For some reason this gives me a real rush...and so does going up a one way street the wrong way. Don't get me wrong, i am mostly a rule following biker, but I have moments.

Today on my way home I saw a dead sea gull and had the worse feeling that it might be the watcher bird from the street light, but when I looked up he was there watching over a bunch of baby seagulls awkwardly flying about and I forgot all about the deceased bird. I wonder what tomorrow brings?

2 comments:

Jeff said...

Evocative, Za, thanks for this.

bethejanzen said...

Loved this post, Za! So many interesting things! Living and dead and inanimate. I've never seen seals in that river - would love to. I walk to work daily and see the same folks depending on my route. I love the little random things I see as well. And how, when walking or cycling the same route, you can see the seasons change and ripen in the bushes, flowers, and trees that you pass. You are fast and you are slow! Thanks!