Mt. Tam glimpsed at the end of a long bicycle ride – from Hal Brown Park in Greenbrae
Rode over 18 miles with a friend today. Back in January when I started this project, I envisioned lots of misty pictures of the mountain and a few words of poetry, some borrowed from better practitioners of the art, some mine. Never in a million years did I imagine that this blog would turn into a quasi bicycle chronicle. Back in January, if you have told me that I will be signing up to ride in tours, or that I will be riding on streets sharing the road with cars, or even that I would actually get myself on a bicycle, I would have laughed if not exactly hysterically, at least hard enough to burst something.
This friend and I used meet at coffee shops some weekend afternoons. We’d sit there drinking tea and eating pastries and we would complain about how our children have grown so far away from us that they seemed to have become nearly disdainful of everything we do. Sometimes we even took turns at crying a little.
We’ve been riding together for a couple of months now. A few weeks ago we did part of the Holstein ride in Petaluma. For long stretches of that ride, it would be just the two of us in wide open territory. No one in sight to make us feel as if we were on display or as if we had to be minding our p’s and q’s in order to fit someone else’s picture of who w might be. It was along one of those descents on San Antonio Road that I let go of the brakes because for the first time in years, I felt as if I had the wheel in my hands.
I signed up to do the Tour de Fuzz in Santa Rosa on September 8, regardless of who else was going come along. Back in January I could have never envisioned doing something like this on my own. If friends weren’t going to come along, well, I would stay put too… I think my friend caught that same bug, because today she told me she’s signing up too. So I am not going alone.
Today we rode, ostensibly to train, but mostly to have fun. We rode out to Fairfax, where they held the first “Streets for People Event,” in town with closing down a few blocks of Bolinas Road.
The Marin Bicycle Coalition offered valet parking for bikes, so after we entrusted our wheels to them, we walked around the crowds of mostly young families and watched kids have loads of fun. We stopped for lunch at The Hummingbird Café, where I went to town with ordering waffles and fried chicken.
We then hopped back on the bikes and took the long way back toward Bon Air Road, where I parked my car. We were having so much fun that we decided to keep going past Bon Air Road, across the hill to the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur Landing, where we had tea. Then, back across along the bike path and over the S. Eliseo hill, a quick, steep climb I never imagined taking fast … let alone biking it all the way up.
When I got back into my car, I realized that we spent about 4 hours together. In all that time, we mentioned our children only in passing, since one of hers called just as we sat down for lunch.