Today, you get a list. Specifically, a list of noteworthy things that I’ve seen or experienced lately on my bike commute.
Depending on the day, I pedal between 7 and 20 miles around Austin, getting to and from swim practice, work and interviews. Sometimes I have to take my car, because I need to get to faraway appointments. Still, for the last eight or nine years, I’ve averaged about four days a week on two wheels.
I used to think that would be hard. Then I tried it.
I get a lot out of it, too. I avoid gridlock traffic because on a bike, I’m always moving. I dash over creeks, watch for critters and listen for birds. I get to see buildings sprout downtown. I greet the hard-hat crew, lunch boxes in hand, as they march through city streets before dawn.
And without even trying, I get exercise. I like to think that keeps my legs looking cute. (Humor me, please.)
Sometimes, in the heat of July and August, I question my sanity when I’m grinding up Lamar Boulevard, but fresh spring mornings and crisp fall afternoons make up for the struggle.
Without further ado, my list:
- Orangey-pink sunsets and sunrises.
- The biggest frog I’ve ever seen.
- Thong guy, up close.
- Crews rowing on Lady Bird Lake.
- Construction workers reporting for duty.
- Friends out for a run or walk.
- Snakes, slithering across the hike-and-bike trail.
- A yard filled with chickens.
- Sometimes, the mayor or police chief.
- A rat, sauntering across a downtown intersection.
- Two weeks ago, a dive-bombing flying cockroach.
- A squirrel, aiming for my spokes, then bouncing backward after impact.
- Once, the presidential motorcade.
- Nutrias, in Shoal Creek.
- BMX bikes popping like popcorn at the Ninth Street bike park.
- People living under bridges.
- A polydactyl cat named Daedo.
- A Mexican restaurant serving margaritas.
- Neighbors driving their cars.