Posts Tagged ‘whip’

I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Hello Legs

May 5, 2016

Nice to meet you again.

Oof.

My goodness, it’s been a few months since I have commuted to work on my one speed and I am feeling it.

And.

I am feeling that I was very right in the getting the scooter.

My knees.

Oh.

My poor fucking knees.

They weren’t so bad on the way in, in fact, I was so jazzed up to be on my whip, I rolled into work at 15 minutes before I was due to be working.

Since I have been riding my scooter I gave myself a little extra cushion of time to make work.

I got there with beaucoup minutes to spare.

In fact.

I want to say that the ride took only a half hour, but I have never done the ride previously in a half hour, even though that’s what the watch was saying I decided to call it 33 minutes, which was my best time previous.

I had woken up this morning early to work on my Multi-Cultural paper and got through a good edit, I still am holding off on printing it, I want one more night of letting the ideas sit and percolate, I’ll do a final edit tomorrow and the reference page and then be ready to get it on for my last weekend of classes.

Which does not mean that school is out for summer.

It just means that the last weekend of classes will be done.

“You can help me celebrate,” I texted him.

Indeed.

There is so much to celebrate.

Life is good and big and full.

Even if my body is achey and rebelling at the exercise I gave it today.

Like I mentioned, I got to work really fast and was happy to spend some time stretching and working out the kinks.

And then.

The day progressed and I did a lot of standing, I mean, I usually do, but today I was entirely on my feet all day, tons of cooking.

Raw vegetable prep for the mom–carrots peeled, beans snipped, cauliflower roasted.

Then dinner for the family–salt and pepper crusted roast chicken with thyme butter, brown rice, steamed broccoli, and garlic butter pan sauteed asparagus.

God.

I love to cook.

I am always so grateful that I get to be of service at my job by cooking, it is such a pleasure to make food for another person, such an extension of love.

I remember the dinner parties I used to throw.

Before I got abstinent in my diet, ie, no sugar and no flour.

No potatoes.

No artificial sweeteners.

Um.

Yeah.

But I can still cook really well and most folks don’t really notice, except when I turn down pizza or something.

But man, when I used to bake and use all the goodies in the cupboard, it was something else, Christmas cookies anyone?

Cheese cake?

Oh the cheese cakes, gah, I used to bake them for the brewery I ran too, although that didn’t last long, it was super fun when I did, blueberry cheesecake with crushed graham cracker crust with roasted hazelnuts; chocolate chip stout cheesecake with chocolate graham cracker crust and black walnuts; the peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake; or the espresso cheesecake with chocolate covered espresso beans.

Dude.

The Thanksgiving I made a pumpkin cheese cake with maple syrup glaze.

Get out of here.

I still love to bake and it’s fun, although rare, when I get to do so for the family I work for.

Mom is super health conscious and loves, loves, loves that I eat the way I do and so models a lot of the family dinners on things that I can actually eat.

Anyway.

I made it about half way through the late afternoon when the body started to talk to me.

“Bitch, couldn’t take your scooter, wanted to ride your bike, got to prove something.”

Fuck.

I remembered why I was not riding my bike for work.

Bad knees people.

Stiff, sore, they swelled up a little.

I took some ibuprofen.

Then.

That one spot.

Right shoulder, where I have an old shoulder injury.

All tweeky from carrying my messenger bag.

And I didn’t even fill it up, I mean, it was half full at best.

By the time I was back in the saddle I was regretting the decision, however, I am grateful for it.

The sunset.

So spectacular.

In the park, rolling along, the smell of the trees, the wind nickering at my face, the coolness against my neck, the soft prickle of sweat and the air moving over my body, so delicious.

So good.

It was like getting kissed all through the park.

I am pretty sure I won’t be doing a lot more bicycle commuting on my one speed.

Should I decide that I want to do some longer rides I’ll have to invest in a road bike again.

Which is not really out of the question.

I would love to do the AidsLifeCycle ride again.

But not on my one speed.

I think my one speed is now officially delegated to trips to Noriega Market and spots in the hood.

Unless I move somewhere very flat.

The knees can’t take it no more.

I’m glad for the exercise though.

I have a weekend of long days sitting in class.

I’ll be happy to have gotten my body moving before being sedentary.

And.

Yoga tomorrow.

Sneak one more class in before the weekend arrives.

It’s almost here.

One more weekend of classes.

And of course.

Fuck.

It’s supposed to rain Friday and Saturday.

So I won’t scooter in.

Nor will I bicycle.

It’s MUNI or calling for a car.

The great thing is I have options and whatever way I get to school, I’ll get there.

It will be nice to reconvene with my cohort and see some friends and catch up and it will be really nice to have the summer off after that.

Well.

I’ll still have papers to write.

I feel like summer won’t officially happen until that point.

But it’s closer.

So close.

I can taste it.

Like the tangerine dream of a sunset tonight spread against the sky swirled with lilac sorbet and strawberry syrup, cleansing my palate, my heart of the weary and long road home.

There is great light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m.

Almost.

There.

 

You Look Great!

April 11, 2016

Did you lose weight?

Just the weight of having made it through the school weekend.

It is a heavy weight to carry sometimes, and as my TA in The Clinical Relationship said to my group this afternoon as we were parting, “you did really hard work this weekend, I just want to acknowledge that.”

Thanks man.

It was big, big, big work.

And.

Ah.

Yes.

I am almost done with the work.

I still have a paper to write, a paper that the professor actually gave us some more time to address.

So.

If I don’t want to write it tomorrow at work, I don’t have to.

Although, it’s probably for the best to bring my laptop and my reader, my notes, and just kick it out and deal with it.

Sometimes more time does not actually help me in the process of writing.

Ooh.

Look.

I can procrastinate this a little longer.

Frankly.

Um.

No.

Get it done.

Then relax.

“God, I open my big mouth sometimes,” she said to me afterward, “I just blurted out what I was seeing,” she said with apology.

“It’s ok, it’s nice to hear, I don’t own a scale, so I actually couldn’t tell you if I had lost weight,” I replied.

“Your face, it just looks amazing, maybe it’s because your hair’s down, I don’t know that I have ever seen it down.”  She gazed at my face, puzzled, “it’s just, it’s beautiful, your face, you look so, so light.”

I smiled.

And I do feel light.

I was happy today at school.

I got up with a decent amount of sleep.

I had a great first class of the day.

I connected with my two favorite ladies in the cohort and made plans with both of them for future time to spend together.

Slumber party next school weekend!

That will be such a blast.

I also participated and felt really good with what I contributed to class.

And.

Ahem.

I got a text message from my Tuesday evening date asking how I was.

Lovely, sir.

I am just lovely.

He’s out of town, but shall be returning this week.

Perfect.

I’ll be well rested.

Ahem.

I may also have another date this week, I’m just playing it by ear and letting whatever happens happen and enjoy the fact that I don’t have to focus on any one man.

I am having fun, remember?

Yes.

Fun.

I am happy.

I am tired.

It was a long weekend.

But I feel good.

Really good.

I feel loved and blessed and held.

I have friends.

I have a home.

I have school.

I get to do these amazing things and have these deep, effective, moving, my God, how emotionally moving some of this is, experiences.

I got my last assignments for the final weekend of classes.

I got papers to write people.

But.

I also have time.

And there is reading.

And there is time.

There is abundance.

There is lightness.

And purpose and magic.

Music.

I’m listening to The Listener’s album again, “Wooden Heart.”

It is so good.

So good.

Oh, my clamoring heart.

I am such a fucking lucky girl.

I almost took a nap today after I got back from class, I was pretty darn wiped out, but I stayed awake, went over to Thai Cottage and got myself some pumpkin curry and brown rice, came back here and read for a while.

No.

I did not read for school!

So proud of allowing myself a nice forty-five minute chunk of leisure reading, , John Irving.

A book I started last summer.

Last fucking summer.

I started it in Sonoma, at the house in Glen Ellen where the family I work for rent a place for a few weeks and have their summer vacation in some weather that actually acts like summer.

I can’t remember the last time I started a book and didn’t finish it.

However.

I started that piece of literature on a study break from school work and then, well, I just went straight to Burning Man and then straight back to school and then straight back to work and repeat, well, take out the going to Burning Man part, but I have just been reading and writing and doing school.

I pulled it off the shelf nestled into my chaise lounge, sipped on a cup of tea and read.

It was delicious.

But I was getting too sleepy and almost nodded off.

Instead.

I put on some music and danced around and got my blood up.

Then.

OH.

I pumped up the tires on my dear, beloved, and not much ridden bicycle.

Yup.

I took the whip out for a ride.

It felt so good to be in the saddle, to be in my body, and not in my head, not thinking, not processing emotions, not in a therapy dyad with a new therapist learning how to do her deal practicing on my emotional playing field.

From the moment I wheeled her out of the garage, it was like I hadn’t been off her at all, but the truth is, I have.

It’s been a month?

After I go the parking permit for work, I’ve been taking my scooter and my bike, well, she’s gotten a little dusty.

My body did not forget the motions, my legs pistons, my hands light on the handle bars, the wind soft, caressing on my face, lifting the curls up off my neck, and I am one with the bicycle and flying down 46th Avenue.

Flying.

Floating.

Magic.

The sunset at Moraga and 46th, the smell of beach bonfire drifting upwards, the salt, the ocean, the light of the bouncing off the pearlescent clouds.

The joy in my heart.

That’s what the woman saw.

The joy in my heart writ large on my face.

I cannot tell what part or the work informs the whole the most, I just keep moving believing that it is all love, brightness, light.

Rapturous with love.

And.

Perhaps hallucinatory with needing to sleep.

But let me just stick to the love part.

That’s the best anyway.

Love me, my love.

As I love you.

The raven with the moon in its mouth.

The song on my sleeve.

The music of the spheres.

Here.

There.

Everywhere.

Love.

 

 

I’m Just Going To Float

October 9, 2014

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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