Today’s ride was joined by Dan, Derek, and Sarah from the group Fender Benders. It was Sarah’s first time out on one of our group rides as the divine feminine is always a welcome site and addition! We were honored that she made time in her busy schedule to join us. Dan and Derek had not ridden since December and would be well tested on our Journey today. As we assembled in the MCB parking lot, I had to ask the question once again, where are the helmets? Okay call me old school, jock, or dork but none the less proper form suggests that people wear helmets when they dance with cars and kerbs. They all looked style-ish but……? Derek found out later, what a strong wind can do when your hands are not on your handle bars. Front tire blown out, front rim bent into a kerb, maybe he was lucky or perhaps skate boarders no how to crash well? Needles to say a rescue ride was called and we joined up with him later…….
The journey was to the Stone House so we could sit on the front porch and bask in the rays of Raphael, (Archangel/Regent of our Neighboring Sun) as the warmth of the season had returned once again. For years I have asked others to write about their experience of the ride so that other types of people can see themselves in different words and take a chance on a journey with our group. Sarah was writing the whole way and made a recent post to her Fender Bender site. I asked her if it was okay if I posted what she wrote so that others who follow could see the journey through her eyes. She warmly agreed and now it is time for that cut and paste and for me to get out of the way:
Happy 2011! It’s still the start of a new year and something to be excited about. A time to feel optimistic (hopefully), moving forward with a refreshed visions into this New Year. We hope everyone ended 2010 with a greater sense ourselves and what we want for the future of our communities and ourselves, especially here in Detroit.
Since there is nothing, nothing more futuristic than hover cars and flying ships that take us to places we have never gone before we might as well face it…. this is not the future we envisioned when we were six or forty years ago no matter what age you are. Fender Bender Detroit has discovered one form of transportation that can and does take us to places no person has gone before…the bicycle! Our vision for the future is Mobile! A mobile bike shop, as well as being mobile by bike.
Have you ever gotten on your bike during a sunny day like the first one of spring? When the sun truly warms your face and you begin to de-thaw and you remember that you are a nice person smiling and saying hello. The air is almost humid and your mind drifts from the obligations of the day and all the stress of deadlines or phone calls does not exist (cuz your smart phone is on silent in your back pocket hopefully). The independent empowerment of self-sufficient travel creates a timeless space and sense that anything is possible. The only real moments are the ones happening right now. During these moments we come in tune with our inner selves and our instincts. We remember how easy it is to get around without a car.
When I am riding on days like this and other days too, even in the rain, my sense of time changes. I invent time and create time that I did not have before. I extend each second to minutes and minutes can become hours, and then I realize as I rush around in my car on a self-inflicted mission like a wound, that I’m in a hurry to nowhere fast. Biking can reinvent worlds, I am convinced. Not only can our sense of time be affected by cycling but largely how we communicate and interact with our neighborhoods. Even if you are shy it’s almost impossible to pass people while biking and not say a “how ya do”. You’ll have more contact with people than while in a car. Even if you are not an observer (which I believe we all are) it is unlikely that you will notice less while biking. More likely you are going to recognize and see more.
You may even begin to envision future plans of how space, land and buildings could be used in your neighborhood/city. You may have hallucinations of a community garden or public park area. Or perhaps prophetically predict a four corner stop sign to slow down speedy traffic. Or maybe a co-op market in place of the vacant liquor store. You may even become overwhelmed with a sense of ownership and investment in the neighborhood that could result in creating a neighborhood coalition of people looking out for one another and having monthly dinners together. Biking allows anything to become possible! Can you see it now?
The next time you’re on a ride envision your bicycle as a vehicle of time travel. You are in the best position to see, feel, smell, touch and sense countless possibilities that await in an abandoned building, vacant lot, old fencing, community centers, churches, a mulberry tree and cracks in the sidewalk. Up close and personal. You may find yourself stopping to take a closer view or the taste the berries, that otherwise may have never existed to you in your car. You see now how a bicycle can alter ones reality: allowing us to become part of experiences that do not engage with us while traveling in an interior, protecting us from sometimes the very things we should be connecting to: Ourselves, Each Other and Nature.