I’m Just Going To Float


Home.

I said to my friend as I departed the 7th and Irving venue for this evening’s fun after work segment of my day.

I am still getting used to the change-up in my schedule and I am not always finding what I want as far as that goes, but then, friends pop in who I haven’t seen in a while and it’s all good.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

“We should, you know, hang out, since you live two blocks away,” my friend said giving me a hug good-bye.

“Float home?”  He also raised an eyebrow.

“Yup, float, drift, sail, you know, on down the road,” I nodded to my steadfast whip, my stead, my girl, my bicyclette.

“Ah.”

Ah, indeed.

It has begun to feel like floating again, not always, but more and more.

I am road ready again.

It took about two and a half weeks for me to notice, but yes, there it is.

In my pants.

Uh.

That sounds a little weird.

But yes, I noticed in my pants yesterday that things were different.

The thighs on my pants were just a little looser and then today, in my jeans, which I had picked up from the tailors (nothing says grown up like taking a pair of pants to the tailor) yesterday.

I had to get the crotch of them patched up.

I ride out the inside of my pants where they rub on the saddle of my bicycle.

You put in twelve to fifteen miles a day on your bicycle and you’ll need to patch up some jeans too.

I am glad I had them professionally altered.  I have done it myself, sewn up a few pairs or two a couple of times, patched them up.  I do ok, but they generally wear out pretty fast and I get annoyed and I just toss the pants.

Or on the occasion, I will make a pair of blue jean shorts from them.

These pants though, I got them at a clothing swap and they are a pretty damn perfect fit.

They are also expensive jeans and I was loath to throw them out  or cut them up, so off to the tailor’s.

And.

What do you know.

My blue jeans are a little looser too.

I have ridden off the scant pound or two I put on while I was down and out with the MUNI blues.  I did not put on a lot of weight when I hurt my ankle, maybe a pound, maybe two, just enough to notice and be annoyed.

It was mostly that I lost muscle tone from not riding my bicycle all the time.

Two and a half weeks of riding six times a week, 12-15 miles a day, and well, I am toned up again.

And I did float home.

I had already climbed the little bit of hill that I have to navigate to get home and from the Inner Sunset it’s mainly down hill for me.  I just have to watch for the traffic, which at 8:30 p.m. at night is not so bad.

Not so, this stretch of road, during rush hour, but I only have taken Irving Street after 8 or 8:30 p.m. over the last few days.  Most of the time I am cutting through the park and the traffic there is basically nil.

I was thinking about the year that I have been bicycle commuting through the Inner Sunset to the Outer Sunset, and noticed, quite distinctly, the difference in my attitude.

I am comfortable riding in my neighborhood.

I am not scared of the traffic.

I am used to it.

And I am faster for it.

I am not stupid about it, I stop when I need to, I watch out for traffic, I pay attention, I am just easier in my skin riding around the neighborhood.

I am used to it.

I moved out here a little over a year ago and I feel pretty at home with the environs.

I ride my bicycle up Lincoln during the day and through Golden Gate Park at night since I started the new gig, it’s quite a different experience for me then it was a year ago.

I felt like I was on high alert whenever I was travelling via my bicycle, either down Lincoln, which even I will admit is bat shit crazy at times, at night, riding down Lincoln with the traffic whizzing by at 40 mph; or going down Irving during the end of rush hour traffic with the sun setting sharply in my eyes.

Now.

I feel a lot more comfortable and I like that.

It makes the commute faster too.

I am making it to work in under 35 minutes from door to door.

Today I did it in 32 minutes.

Which ties for my fastest time.

It depends on the traffic and also on the time of day.

Mondays I hit a lot of commuter traffic, so it puts me a little slower, but for the most part I am making it in quite a brisk fashion.

Much, much faster than MUNI.

Floating.

It does feel like that, coming through the twilight dusk of the Pan Handle, with the traffic lights flashing through the trees and the winking red tail lights of bicycles ahead of me, it feels magical, the giant trees and the thick swaths of grass and the paths winding through.

The street lamps in the park always remind me a bit of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, there’s one particular street lamp that always seems to be glowing with a tiny bit of mist around it, the dusk purple and rich, just pushed back a small space with the warm yellow globe of light and the traffic lights in the clearing, well, it’s sweet and dear and it makes me grateful to live here.

So very grateful.

It is a good life this one I have.

I have a good job.

I have amazing friends.

I have this incredible and beautiful city to live in.

I have a sparkling bicycle to traverse it upon.

Floating home indeed.

 

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