Wednesday, October 7, 2015
A fish without a bicycle
Our rental house comes with two bicycles. Two rather old, clunky, and beat-up bicycles, but they are bicycles, nonetheless.
I finally got around to asking our landlady the combination for the locks. I had to pump up the tires, and clean off the dusty seat, but now here's a bicycle to ride!
New Orleans is a good town for bicycles, because it's so flat. There's hardly a rise in level - only man-made bridges to span railroad tracks. You see lots of people riding bikes in the Bywater, Marigny and the French Quarter, because bikes can move more nimbly through the narrow streets than cars can. Even so, it's a little tricky, since the streets are in such poor condition, with wheel-warping potholes everywhere. Also, New Orleans drivers are terrible, so you have to be careful.
I'm a little rusty on the bike. No, I'm a LOT rusty on the bike. I last rode a bike maybe twenty years ago (Yes, now I remember, because the bike I owned in Seattle got moved to Los Angeles and I didn't ride it ONCE the whole time I was there.)
And the bike I had in Seattle was brand new, sleek and in great shape (then!), not a heavy, fat-tired old clunker.
So I'm taking it easy at first. I rode up and down my block a few times. Then I ventured out on Chartres Street to ride the half block to the ramp up to the park. I faltered on the ramp - hmmm, a HILL! - but then I got up to the smooth new pavement of Crescent Park.
I rode down to the Piety Street bridge - that's seven blocks! Then I turned around and went back. By the time I was home, I was red-faced and huffing a bit.
But it sure felt good! I just need to practice. Pretty soon I can ride down to the French Quarter!