22 Aug 2014, 2:59pm
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Cycling in the City

It was sweet cycling on all those dedicated lanes in Montreal. A breeze to cycle in Amsterdam and surrounding towns. In a group ride in Ottawa it felt like being a sparrow finally safe by the numbers of the flock. Cycling along trails is fine except at intersections. And the potholes. Cycling along the river or the canal is easy but Preston and Gladstone seems reliably dodgy with cars crowding or bolting thru erratically.

We went somewhere over 20km one afternoon this week which googlemaps seems to think takes an hour. At any rate it was a good little jaunt and we home before the rain got serious again.

When I start out cycling it’s as if all my cardio is gone again. Within 2km it’s back.

It must be the tight chest of traffic. Random drivers. Knowing the average traffic light has 2 people driving through amber and 1 through red. I have to monitor in every direction.

Once out on the trails I wonder why don’t I do this every day. But first I have to get out to the trail. And past the driver who yelled at me that I should walk my bike across an intersection while I’m on the bike trail. Forget that two male cyclists had just gone through the green light I was also at while the driver was at a red light. Females are safe to yell at and to correct, apparently. Especially when it was just him and me within earshot.

The most cheerful moment have sourness in them. Paused in front of a restaurant kitchen three guys were cooking and laughing and having all appearance of a good workplace. Then a female cook cut across the scene to grab a pot from the upper shelf. The co-worker nearest worked around her by putting an arm around her waist and squeezing her stomach as he leaned his face into her neck. Her nostril curled distaste, her mouth opened as if to chastise and she flew away out of scene. He smirked and laughed to himself and in a fraction of a second the cheerful cooking scene resumed. Hubby was watching. He didn’t see it.

At the time both moments infuriated me but the motion eased it away until I was airy as souffle. Once we’re out among the crickets, cicadas, bird song, crow to the left, heron to the right, turtle on the log, beaver chewing its fresh chips, life becomes a song.

your heart is ahead
Follow your heart. It went that way.

But then there’s the trails through parkland where people still have to be told how to behave.
have to tell you everything?
Which is darkly comic. Who goes to a nature path and saws down firewood? I prefer the interpretation of circus act with the letter T.

Some paths are walking trails.

trail near Mud Lake
Some of the trails can be walking only although there were rutted tracks of dirt bikes.

The leaves are already turning by the pickerelweed.

sailboats coming to the marina
I tried to not gear-up for every eventually. No picnic, no selection of books and no “real camera” but still the little ipod thingee did pretty well at the marina by Andrew Hayden Park

The Monet shot
The Monet shot.

Andrew Hayden Park
There’s a grandstand. Wonder if a poetry event could find enough people for that stage?

But returning there’s a falling of the breath. There’s the low probability of being doored. Watching what’s happening left of drivers crowding me off and checking right for parked cars, turning wheels, cars with drivers that might swing into traffic when they see an opening in cars. It’s nerve wracking and makes it easy to hate humanity.

But then there’s cycling trails. Yet, still some humanity. Such as the woman who glanced back, saw me, but I dingled my bell anyway as I approached and after I passed she went off at me, telling me off, saying I should ring my bell. I said I did and she said, ring it further back! Some people are more detailed than any law is.

It’s easy to access the hot anger of people. The cool water and warm air and red squirrel chewing its pine comb back and forth like a scaled corn cob, that’s harder to bring back into definition.

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