Monday, June 28, 2010

You never know

As the man says, if there's one thing you always know, it's that you never know.

Okay, I don't know that. I don't know if any man ever said it, let alone The man, let alone who the man is, which only goes to prove my point, which only goes to undermine the conceit that I actually had a point. Which bolsters, if not proves, the point I apparently didn't have.

Anyway, I'm still exploring my new home. This past week's probes of this urban landscape involved my first real bike ride through it and out of it. Mind you, I moved away from my home on the edge of Lansing for a home in southern Oakland County, smack in the middle of Michigan's version of the Eastern Seaboard. I used to have to ride half a mile to get to a rural road. Thursday, I had to pick up a car in Brighton, about 45 miles away (50 with my inadvertent detour) and it felt like the route featured about a half-mile OF rural road.

I'm used to hearing some people tell me riding 50 miles is crazy and then hearing others' sympathy that I didn't have enough time to take a real ride. But when I was asking locals for background information on these roads, every last one of them thought I was crazy, and it had little to do with mileage. It all had to do with the cars.

Well, you never know. I did have my first accident this week, but it was at the hands of another cyclist.

Thursday's trip to Brighton was just fine. To metro Detroit's credit, based on one early-morning ride, I have to say the drivers here are better to deal with than they are when I have to take a busy road in Lansing; maybe they know my options are limited. I only got honked at by one driver (in a pickup truck, of course; who had all the room in the world to get around me, of course). My biggest issue was having my rhythm broken up by long traffic lights.

Two mornings later, I was on the commuter bike (it's true; my once-prized mountain bike is now a 17-year-old utility steed) headed over to check out the Royal Oak Farmers Market (which is well worth checking out) and caught up to another cyclist at the notoriously busy Woodward Ave. While we waited for the light to change, my new friend told me all about the yoga class he was headed to. When the light changed, I motioned him ahead and then followed (a little too closely, the review tape would show). He looked back to tell me one more yoga detail, and down I went.

"Oh, I distracted you!" he apologized, which wasn't entirely true. I was quite focused on the fact that he was about to hook my wheel. What distracted me was the gravel and sand on the pavement and the subsequent realities of gravity. I got up, we finished crossing Woodward and then he motioned for me to go ahead and then disappeared down the first street available, which didn't look to me like it had a lot of yoga studios. I felt bad that he felt bad. These things happen, and other than a little road rash and bruising I wasn't at all hurt.

Which wouldn't have been the case if I'd borne out everyone's dire predictions and mixed it up with someone piloting a few thousand pounds of Detroit steel.

That much I do know.

Two other unknown things:
1) I was unprepared for the quick and thorough welcome back after Wednesday's Resurfacing entry. It was reassuring, heartening and, I dare say, touching. And I thank you very, very much. (You can tell just how much: When a supposed writer resorts to using the same modifier separated by a comma, he's either at a loss for adequate words or writing fiction dialogue where his character is, and I don't see any fiction here.)
2) We still don't know where Mr. B is, but confidence remains high. This is a good, safe, even comfortable area to be a stray cat, so it could take a while. Profuse thanks go out to everyone who expressed sympathy and concern there as well. It really (by which I mean really, really) helps.

3 comments:

Jacqueline Haney said...

Jef--

A piece of strayed-cat advice I got from a vet's office: Put a towel or tshirt or something that smells like you at the edge of your property to help kitty find his way home. It worked when one of mine wandered.

Jacki

Kovas Palubinskas said...

We had a cat run away on a move into a new house - he ended up living across the street at our new neighbors, apparently the food/shelter/service/company was better. Cats are survivors!

Mike "tri-ing in NC" said...

Hope you find your cat and enjoy your new home.