While I'm pedaling away I like to notice things around me. (That's one of my biggest gripes with drivers -- they are stuck in steel and glass cages, noticing far too little of what they ought to be paying attention to let alone the other pleasantries and phenomena there to be observed.) I pick up on the weather and changes in the natural world. I spy birds and squirrels and other critters. I hear arguments between residents in neighborhoods and drivers on the road. I pass good friends lost in convesation while sharing a walk.
Mostly I see cars, because my commute takes place predominantly on roads. I watch as drivers and their passengers glide by me. I study folks at traffic lights, slightly sorry that most of the time they look pathetically miserable -- nervous, twitchy, their minds 30 minutes or an hour ahead of where they are at that very moment simply because they have to go, go, go to the next important "thing."
I also see a lot of kids in car seats or buckled into booster chairs being carted along in the mad frenzy. I quite often make eye contact with them, because, unlike adults, they are not shy, not afraid to look in an effort to satisfy their curiosities. I applaud that unabashed wonderment. Often their lips are mouthing sentences being spoken to their parent up front. They smile, they point, they look excited to see somone riding a bike. Kids like variety. I don't think they are as threatened by it as older folk can be. In a landscape dominated by automobiles why shouldn't they enjoy seeing a cyclist? (In my opinion, bikes are way prettier than cars anyhow.)
I usually wave to the kids and I always make sure to smile back at them. They are the future of our communities, our country, our planet and their futures will not include the cheap, easy dependence on fossil-fueled private transportation. May the sight of cyclists make a lasting imprint on their brains.
-1 this morning, but a heavenly warm breeze out of the southeast made it feel so much warmer. 20s and 30s are on the way all next week! I was home sick yesterday. A rest day was nice. I slept nearly all day and I think I kicked the bug I caught.
Ride lots and when you're done, go out and ride some more. Be sure to smile at the kids.