Oh, it felt so good to ride my bike yesterday that I was most especially looking forward to today’s ride. I did a quick jaunt to lunch with K. before heading down to the river. I waited with all the tourists heading to the aquarium for the train to pass, and then bike to a bench, sat back, and enjoyed the view. It has finally been good and summer rainy the past few days, and the wind is stil blowing waves, clouds rolling in. I had to get back to the office, though, so back on the bike I went, pedaling fast. My fall commute’s going to be much, much longer; might be time to practice. I grabbed a ridiculously large iced tea from the cafeteria, and on my way over to Newcomb Hall, I noticed these birds poking around in the mud we’ve finally got with their needly beaks. Yeah, y’all are going to need a bath after that meal. A woman passed me, remarking the the birds are a long way from home. Yes, yes they are.
Today was my last day of classes for the semester, and in the fall, I’ll be teaching somewhere else. It all felt rather bittersweet. I have loved teaching at Tulane. I enjoy the students, my colleagues, the Take Your Professor to Lunch program (I’ve been eating with charming students on the college’s dime for weeks now), Doug in Media Services, the two way mirror separating me from R. in our basement offices inside the old children’s anxiety clinic (no, really–it’s nice down there (that’s what she said)), and all the campus cats. Fortunately, I get to teach summer school, so I’ll be eased out slowly. Continue reading
As I was riding my bike up to campus today for the first day back from spring break, I kept thinking about the gazillion people who don’t commute by bike. You are really missing out, people. It feels so good to get some energy out and pedal to work first thing in the morning. Continue reading
Five years ago I quit smoking. The first three months were terrible–lots of crying and worrying that I’d be logged on to my support site for the rest of my life and feeling like I’d accomplished some amazing feat by managing to wait 40 minutes for an oil change–how do nonsmokers wait? That seems like a zillion years ago. Continue reading
It’s Mardi Gras Thursday–or Muses Thursday, if you, like most folks I know, have been waiting for this parade in particular. The parade isn’t until tonight and I had the day mostly free, so I took the bike out for a ride to this appointment and that appointment, and then rode out toward City Park to check out the folks already gathering for this Saturday’s big parade. Continue reading
Is there any season better than springtime? Seriously, no matter what your climate, spring rocks. We don’t have crocuses here, but we’ve got marching bands and sunshine and the way it smelled today. I rode up to campus and did a quick loop around the park before a couple of quick meetings with students. Continue reading
My legs are tired in that you-need-a-day-off-the-bike way, so today’s ride was an easy breezy commute followed by some low-gear riding around Audubon Park after work. I have been feeling out of sorts for the past few days–it happens–and I wasn’t feeling particularly chipper as I weaved through the rush hour crowds doing laps, and even the casual ride felt forced. Continue reading
Today I put on short sleeves and a skirt and rode the bike up to campus in 70 degree weather. Oh, New Orleans in December, how I love your occasional spring day! After coffee with a student and a quick stop at the office, I pedaled over to Audubon Park for a quick spin around before heading to the grocery. The path was crowded with people enjoying this unseasonably warm day: kids on bikes, a woman trying to go for a run with a puppy, mature dogs talking their humans on walks, a rollerblader, and a guy in a weighted vest jogging. The bike racks were full and golf carts zipped back and forth across the path. It was a regular postcard out there. Continue reading
Ok, I’ll admit it. When I woke up to gray skies and blustery winds, I considered *not* taking a bike ride today. I mean, I enjoy spending time in the smallest chain ring, but I just wasn’t sure I felt like working that hard this morning. S. pointed out that I could always go out for a short ride and come right back. Excellent plan. I donned my layers, took a right out of the driveway this time, and headed toward town. About half a mile in I was reminded that it is always a good idea to go for a ride. The wind wasn’t bad and the views went on forever. I stopped right before Inverness to watch a couple of horses snack on hay, and I heard the gurgles of so many birds. I snapped this picture of part of the crazy stretch of birds flying together against the clouds. Everyone was headed the same direction, but at intervals three or four would turn around and, in my anthropomorphizing mind, work as crossing guards, herding everyone into lines, keeping things orderly. They were noisy and beautiful and I was completely irrelevant–perfect. I rode through and around the silent town, outrunning dogs, studying cypress in the bayou, wondering if that was a cotton gin, and then headed home to a hot shower, an extra soft, extra large sweater, and some footbal. Like I said, perfect.
I am spending the holiday in the Mississippi Delta with my pal S., her parents, two dogs, and my bicycle. I’ve been here before, but today after a delicious breakfast and present opening (how did you know I would love that old postcard of Le Petit Theatre in the Quarter!), I took the bike out for my first ride. I took a left out of the driveway and just rode and rode, crossing the Sunflower River, passing empty field after empty field, staring up at endless cloudy skies. I saw cardinals and blue jays and other little birds I couldn’t name. (Somebody should give me a field guide to nature for Christmas next year.) The view was so empty, except for the occasional stand of trees or ones like this–solo by the side of the road. I saw five cars, two dogs, and a whole lot of beer cans, but mostly I felt like I might be the only person in the world. And I liked it. I turned back around to make it home for dinner, and those headwinds, with no breaks, gave me the opportunity to discover gears I never knew I had. A Delta Christmas just keeps on giving.