Great night. Great show.
Not such a great bike ride.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, riding our bikes downtown to see the David Gray perform at the Paramount Theater, just off the 16th Street Mall. I live a mile or two from my sister, and she lives another mile or two from the Paramount Theater. It was a lovely evening, and parking can be a real bitch downtown, so we decided to ride our bikes.
After the show – which was amazing. I’ve probably seen David Gray live a half dozen times, and he never disappoints – we walked outside. It was damp. It had rained. Bike seat = wet butt = uncomfortably gross ride home. And my back tire was flat. Slap Slap Slap. Its what we heard riding along 16th Street turning in to 16th Avenue.
It was a warm, damp evening.
Riding through puddles makes a pleasant sound.
Squick squick of the pedals.
The sky was a deep inky indigo color.
Huge drops of water plop on my shoulders, my arms, my thighs, my head as I ride down the street.
I give the parked cars along the (haunted) park a wide wide berth. Afraid of the nothing – no people, no light – afraid of what isn’t there, but what I think is there.
But more embarrassed of the slap slap slap of my (flat) back tire as I ride past Shells and Sauce. And again when another bike goes right past me.
I fear I ruined my wheel by riding so far on such a flat tire.
By pedaling through the streets at midnight, I saw a completely different city filled with interesting characters – the guy with the fun music coming out of his speakers on his neon light trimmed bicycle I saw riding through the park, the guy walking his dog, the girl pedaling home, the couple leaving the restaurant, the dark windows in the big and small bungalows I passed.
Even though the ride was at times uncomfortable and embarrassing, being able to ride my bike is a joy. Living where we live is a joy. There really is no better way to witness the subtleties of a city than by rolling through the streets. Day or night.