Elements of Bike Riding 58

Winooski Wheels

In late March I took my commuter bike for a tuneup to Winooski Wheels, a new bike shop in downtown Winooski. I am so glad to have a bike shop in town! I support Old Spokes bike shop, but because I don’t own a car, every time I dropped off my bike there, I had to walk an hour to get to my home.  Then I had to walk back when the bike was ready to be picked up. Winooski Wheels is only a 10 minute walk from my house, which makes it much more convenient.  Every city should have a few essential services  including a swimming pool, a library, a bookstore, a bakery, a hardware store, a bike shop, and a grocery store. At least we have a bike shop, a pool and a library!

A helmet inside of a backpack

After I dropped off my bike,  I took the lights from the bike and put my helmet in  a backpack which is specially designed to carry a helmet. I took my umbrella from the back pack and prepared to walk home in the rain.  For a couple of days I had been memorizing two limericks by Edward Lear.  On the way back I finally got them firmly by heart.  

grey umbrella leaning up against a wallThere was an Old Man with a nose,
Who said, 'If you choose to suppose,
That my nose is too long,
You are certainly wrong!'
That remarkable Man with a nose.

There was an Old Man in a tree,
Who was horribly bored by a bee;
When they said, "Does it buzz?"
He replied, "Yes, it does!
It's a regular brute of a bee!"


I have loved Edward Lear for many years and have memorized two of his longer poems, ‘A was once and apple pie’ and ‘The Owl and the Pussycat.’  The next morning I discovered that I had left one of the lights on the bike I had dropped off, so  after work I dropped by the shop and got the light.  I was glad it was there because I have lost more than one bike light. The last light I lost was in December.  I was heading to work when I stopped in the parking area that overlooks the Salmon Hole and found a pannier on the ground.  In the struggle to get  the pannier attached to my bike I lost a bike light.  I went right back to look for it but I was not able to recover the light.  A flashing red light is bound to be discovered right away.  


City Market 

Other bike riders don’t usually cause me as many problems as cars do, but as you can see from this photo,  bike riders can be inconsiderate.  The bike owner took up two spaces and also made it hardbikes parked outside City Market for me to reach my panniers.  I was hoping to have a talk with whoever owned the bike but they did not show up when I was getting ready to leave.


A group of cyclists stand in front of the Whale Tails sculptureWinooski Bike Gang Doubts

I am an ambassador for the Winooski Bike Gang that rides every Wednesday from mid-April until the end of September.  I helped started the Gang three years ago when the City of Winooski asked for volunteers to run a weekly bike ride.  Over those three years our numbers have grown dramatically. We had  a handful of participants in the first year and now we often have 50-plus people.  We have also added  new ambassadors. Last year we started offering two rides, a party ride for people who want a relaxed experience and a business ride for fast folks.  I usually lead the party ride.  I ride all winter, and I am in pretty good shape, but this spring I have not gone on many long rides.  Also, my right knee bothers me from time to time.  When I lead the party ride younger riders often pass me on the hills and then have to wait for me.  I am 66 years old and I am not as strong as I once was.  I do not intend to stop riding but I know I have limitations. I try not to let this affect my pleasure in riding.  It is OK that I am not as fast as other riders.  I believe I will get stronger as the season progresses. My plan is to push myself a bit when my knee feels strong and ease off when it is sore.  Facing one’s limitations is never pleasant, but it is a necessary part of getting older.  It is also important to do everything you are capable of within those limitations.  I will never be 25 again but I can continue to be a strong rider.


A blossoming tree in a lush green landscapeSpring Ride

On June 22nd I took a ride after work from Burlington to the end of the Causeway.  It was a sunny day but a bit cool.  My right knee felt a little sore but I did the ride anyway.  At this time of year it is pleasant to sit in the sun.  I can be in the sun without getting too hot.  That is not possible later in the year.  I sat in the sun leaning on the side of the restroom building in Airport Park.  I took a photo of the nearby blossoming trees.  A couple of children walked back and forth going or coming from baseball games.  I ate five figs for a snack and drank some water.  It was a nice break from my ride.