2015 Bike Week, Day Five: Reflections

[Perhaps if I had used the manual setting] My eye saw the Bert and Rocky's sign across the street perfectly reflected in that little puddle of rain water, but I just could not get the camera lens and angle to replicate it.

How to determine success? Is making a determination of success even a goal? I am not sure that bike week is supposed to be anything more than a celebration. In that sense, the more people who join in, the more who are encouraged to participate, maybe even make a fresh start, the better it is, but I don't think sheer numbers have ever been requisite. Personally, each and any day I ride can be a celebration of the bicycle. If riding leaves me with a sense of satisfaction, of accomplishment, if it leaves me feeling refreshed, or the realization that I had a great time then the time spent was a clear success.

Yet at the same time, if you look up the word celebration in the thesaurus, you may notice the word gathering, suggesting that maybe numbers are a part. It has been a long time since I have ridden five consecutive days, so finally doing so this week has been a huge personal celebration, even if the rides I took were mostly shorter ones. Two of the largest "gatherings" this week involved the recreational, sport, fitness aspect of cycling. Nothing wrong with that, they (we) are the backbone. Ever since the motor vehicle replaced the bicycle as primary mode of transportation in this country, the recreational component has been the largest group keeping the bike relevant. 

Times change, however, and the bike as transportation aspect (or so we hear) has taken on added importance and significance. Bike to Work day may have been hampered somewhat by a surprise visit by inclement weather, but even taking that into consideration, the numbers of bike commuters I noticed were anything but a celebration. If I only based this week, this Bike Week, on that I would be disappointed. Instead two things happened, or actually the same thing on two different days, that turned Bike Week into a successful celebration. On both Monday and Wednesday I saw the neighbor two doors down riding his bike. He doesn't normally, but as I later found out, this week he has been riding to the depot then taking the train into work. When I saw him Wednesday he was walking, bike on one side, young son on the other. They were almost home. I smiled. That is success. Setting an example, doing what we can to leave the world a better place for the next generation. 

I smiled the rest of the short distance home. I told my wife the simple story.

It was a celebration.

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