Philly is such a premium bike and art city that people turn their parking into a temporary installation.
So I know that a lot- ok, basically all- of my posts lately have been transportation related, and I know you are all like "where are all the muppet videos?" "conservatism isn't dead?" "what happened to those awful lists of links that nobody ever clicked on?" but the fact of the matter is, the only other thing I have to talk about these days is how much I love my new program, and really, if I talk about this here, nobody will ever call me again. Ever. So in the interests of making sure I still get the occasional phone call, I'm talking about bikes, again. Call it the circle of life or whatever, I go through blog cycles and this one is particularly bike-y.
In the past few days the weather has turned and the muggy air of Philadelphia transformed into the crisp cool kind of air that makes me feel like we should be having a cross country race, right here, right now. Whither my short thin shorts and perma-stink singlet? Spikes, be summoned! All of this is to say that for riding a bike, it's been delightful, even when a closed road unexpectedly tossed me onto a narrow street where some lady gave me a solid nudge into a car with her car mirror (Thanks endorphins!). Feeling the cool wind on my face reminds me of when I got my bike almost two years ago, right in the sweet spot of blissful fall.
I hadn't taken the Old Dutch Treat out in a while since I've been getting acquainted with the folding bike, and really just basking in the convenience of it, but today the ODT beckoned. I read this post and knowing that I was going into Center City for class, it seemed to be that there was no other to travel. I was scared of taking the folding bike back into Center City after the whole mess of getting the bike, but now I am much better acquainted with proper streets to take and was traveling into town after peak traffic. The brawny build of the ODT gave me the confidence to conquer downtown by bike.
It was magical! The bike lanes carried me blissfully, and flat and fast Philadelphia both embraced me and pushed me forward. For music, I rang my bell for small children and precariously placed cars, and on the ride home the hum of the bottle dynamo was my symphony. With its majestic fountains, plentiful neo-classical buildings, and charmingly lit skyline, Philadelphia was paradise. Energized by the engaging exchange of my class and sitting so high on my bike that I felt on top of the world, it was impossible not to be in love with this city, with life, and with the simple connects-me-to-the-universe euphoria of riding my bike.