Sunday, April 20, 2008

Willa's First Ride

The Family Fleck spent the early part of the day touring houses and focusing on the heavy business of potential homeownership. The second half of the day needed lightening. We made the decision to take our dinner to a grill in the park at Lake Harriet. April hasn't been on a bike in several months, given the pregnancy. In addition, today was Willa's first bike ride and it couldn't have been a nicer day. I don't know how warm it was, but it felt like at least 70F with bright sunshine.

Okay, so she doesn't look happy at the moment, but once we got rolling she was quiet and quickly fell asleep.

Our bike caravan worked our way west, braving the path around Lake Harriet. I rarely ride paths around the lakes, so it's certainly novel, maybe even a little fun, when I do. If I did ride these paths frequently, I just don't think I'd find it enjoyable at all. This is partially due to the presence of cyclists like the "Incredibly Aerodynamic Duo" which flew by us this afternoon. A terse, last second shout of "On your left!" was followed by two riders in full aero tuck (bars and all) zipping by us at over 20 mph. Seriously, guys -- get off the bike path and ride in the street. A path around the lake on a weekend is not the place for a training ride.

We made it to the park unscathed. Sylvia went straight for the playground, I prepped the grill, April relaxed and Willa slept away in her seat. There were a lot of people out. I'm not always okay with that. My idea of a good time can include friends, but I also derive incredible enjoyment from lonely stretches of country road on a bicycle or remote lakes in the Boundary Waters seen from the cockpit of a solo canoe. Today my heart felt open to the presence of fellow Minneapolitans. Besides that, I love people watching and a beautiful spring day in a city park produces many fine spectacles of human behavior.

I love food to take food photos. Dinner was not just charred burgers and crispy dogs.

Femmes Fleck enjoying the sunshine.

This makes so much more sense to me than a mini-van/SUV in a fast food drive thru.

Mama and Sylvia on the ride home. No, Sylvia is not sleeping. That would have been the perfect end to a great day, but it wasn't going to happen.

Our picnic spot was near the bike path and I watched a lot of riders pedal between Lake Harriet and Calhoun. I shocked April when I said, "You know, it's just nice to see people on bikes." I tend to be a little crotchety and I obviously have no shortage of opinions concerning people and bicycles. But for a while today I was able to put aside criticism and view everyone riding not as a sum of their quirks and idiosyncracies, but rather as a short study in the way the human form unites in motion with the bicycle to create a pure expression of beauty.

Speaking of beauty, the moon is full tonight. Slide open those windows and work on your moon tan.

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