02 February 2014

Boots Are Still in Style for Manly Footwear: The Cycling Clergyman Installment 3

CO2 savings for January: 52.8lbs.  I used the calculations available on the Metro Transit webpage.  Not bad considering I had to sell two automobiles, purchase a new van, get my bike ready for winter excursions, and had to figure out how the bus system in Mpls works.  February: who knows maybe a 100lbs saved!!!

This week, on Thursday, the metro area received 6 inches of snow during the morning rush hour.  I planned to ride my bike over to Peace Coffee on Minnehaha Ave but the roads were too bad and my biking skills aren't there, yet.  So I took the bus.  The schedule was all out of whack and nothing was near normal.  Rather than wait for my bus I took the first one I could, rode it to a known station on Lake St and then headed east to Minnehaha.  The experience provided the fodder for my latest insight: The Poor Are not Stupid!  I saw many people, on the fly, figure out the bus routes and get from point A to point B with speed and creativity.  I had a "smart phone", maps, and a college degree and couldn't figure it out.

When I finally saw a bus that looked liked it was going in the right direction I asked the driver if he was going where I was going, he said yes.  As the bus pulled up to a stop a would be passenger asked when the #X would be coming by?  The driver replied, "We're all behind, just hop on and you'll get where you need to get to."  I loved that.

Now onto the subject of my title.  I've been wearing a pair of LL Bean boots (blue rubber bottom, necessary boots for RI and New England).  I adapted them to MN by purchasing a pair of boot liners, they work great and are great biking boots.  But, I have to take a pair of dress shoes with me, or wear slippers at work, and they are a little bulky when pedaling.  So I wondered could I find a decent looking pair of hiking boots to wear while biking and not have carry an extra pair or wear my old ratty slippers at the office?  This week I noticed my favorite shoe store was having a sale, so I investigated hiking boots that could double as winter biking boots.  I found a pair of Merrell's that seemed to fit the bill.

Here was my criteria; they had to be warm (but not too warm, I want to wear them year-round), they had to look semi-nice (good enough to look semi-respectable with a pair of khakis), and comfortable.  So far, so good.

But wearing these boots has tweaked my fashion orientation.  I've given up on wearing suits, for the time being.  It is more simple to wear khakis, a clergy shirt, and my hiking boots.  Not exactly the look I developed over the past few years, but a look, however, I had in mind coming out of seminary.

And this reader has been the biggest surprise, the re-discovery of a past hope.  As I approached graduation from divinity school I had a vision of being a "green-justice-working-simple-living-contemplative-earthy-pastor" but something happened along the way that prevented me from fully living into this vision.  In many ways I placed that vision on the shelf, where it became dusty, another of my ideas never to find a proper home.  Instead, this idea was just lying dormant waiting for the right place and time to sprout.  That was nearly 14 years ago.  I've changed since then, as had my vision but I can now see the fruit of that vision becoming a reality.  And to think that I get paid, to some extend, to live out this vision too!

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