What’s up with the bike basket?

I don’t lead a very complicated life. I work at a relatively stress-free job where I never take my work home with me, nor do I ever spend more than 40 hours a week working there. I don’t have kids or the responsibilities that go with them, and I maintain my hobbies as things that I do when I have the spare time to enjoy them. And yet, just like anyone else, I rarely find time in my day-to-day adventures to simply zone out or really let my thoughts wander. Somehow, though, whenever I’m aboard my bike, riding around town, I find myself actually thinking. I’m not saying that I solve all of my woes while perched atop my cruiser, or that the bike is the only place that I can find the peace to delve into my deepest thoughts — nothing that drastic. No, I just mean that sometimes I work something out that’s been nagging me, or daydream about what would top off a great day, or observe more of what’s around me than usual, or simply just enjoy the feeling of flying down a hill on a sunny day.

It’s actually where I thought up this blog — hence the name. While I don’t intend to restrict it to only musings from my bike, or only stories about my adventures on two wheels (I’m already going to have enough trouble coming up with material — I don’t need to limit my options!), but I can say that it is where I do my best thinking.

I’m actually on my bike quite a bit these days. When I lived in Chicago, I grabbed a cheap cruiser (with a basket, of course — transportation must be functional!) and found that it was the most efficient way to get around the city. Public transportation is great but can be unreliable and complicated, and I would rather walk than try and navigate those streets and parking spaces via car. I sold the cruiser in the move to Colorado, as it was, as I said, cheap, and not worth taking up precious space in our U-Haul. But, I again “invested” in a Craigslist bike and happily found this gem in Boulder.

I affectionately call her “Greenie.” She’s super old and rickety. The basket is bent and I find myself performing maintenance on an all-too-frequent basis in order to keep us running safely. But, I have an undeniable attachment to her. When I think about truly investing in a better bike, something newer and shinier and less noisy, I can’t imagine myself without this old dame getting me where I need to go.

And she does — get me where I need to go, that is. While our travel in Boulder was mainly cruising the bike paths for pleasure (we lived up on a hill that very well could have torn Greenie’s old moving parts to shreds — along with my quad muscles!), now that we’re in Denver I have rekindled my love of urban bike riding. I am a mere 10-minute bike ride away from work, which I can fortunately get to via almost solely this lovely bike path on Cherry Creek.

I swear there are actually prettier photo opportunities along this path, but this was the best place to stop and take a photo — that path can get pretty full of people! I’m sure it’s not the last photo I’ll take of my commute, as it is a common occurrence for me to be stopped to view a fabulous sunset over the Rockies or the beauty of a characteristically sunny Colorado day.

I try to ride my bike around town whenever possible. Like I said before — public transportation can be unreliable and I hate having to wait on someone else’s schedule. Walking is fine when it’s a short distance, but even the shortest distances can be made quicker on two wheels! And while Denver is much more drive-able than Chicago, I still feel like it’s easier to find parking for a bike and can be more fun to take bike paths and side roads.

Of course, weather can play a factor, and much of the winter my bike will end up at home. But the most wonderful thing about Colorado is the unstoppable amount of sunshine and lack of rainy or snowy days. Of course we will get dumped on from time to time, but it always clears up within days and the sun-drenched blacktop is once again calling my name.

So, while I may not always find my sole inspiration from my bike rides, and my content may not be directly related to my bike, I thought the name was at least a fitting one for now. Let’s see if it sticks!

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