This week was a tragic week, Marcus Nalls, a 26 year old chef was struck and killed by a drunk driver near the Franklin and Harriet Ave. intersection. Mr. Nalls was doing everything right, he was wearing a helmet, had front and back lights and was still struck and killed. I volunteered my efforts as a clergy person for the memorial bike ride. Before going I took one last look at my front wheel only to discover a front wheel axle nut missing and a front wheel about to come off. I ran down to Bikes and Pieces, he gave me the proper nut, ran back home and fixed my wheel but it was too late by then to attend the service. I want to thank the organizers for taking the time and energy to organize such an event. I hope that I and others do everything we can to make sure Mr. Nalls' memory is kept alive.
The week of biking went well. The missing axle nut is a witness to the beating a bike takes riding in the winter over the ice and snow packed onto the streets. I am thinking of installing front shocks on the bike I am preparing for this spring and summer. Every morning when it is bitter cold I have to talk myself into riding and not taking the bus. I like riding but what a hurdle it is to mentally prepare myself for the cold rides. When it is below zero and I am riding and before my body has yet to warm up I say a simple mantra to get me through, "Mother Earth, I hope you appreciate this. Mother Earth, I hope you appreciate this..."
I did, however, take the bus one morning. I had to be in the Longfellow neighborhood and it was below zero. When I arrived on Lake Street I hopped on board the same bus as last week. When my stop approached I walked up to the front and informed the driver that I quoted him in my sermon last Sunday. "How so?" he asked. I recounted his words during the midst of the snowstorm, he offered to a questioning soon to be rider, "just
get in, we are all behind. I'll get you where you need to be." He smiled and asked, "is that what I said?" Then chuckled and said
"alright". Alright indeed.
Finally, probably my biggest concern about my bike experiment centered on conducting pastoral visits. Would I be able to do them in a timely manner? So far, the answer is yes. Three new insights have arisen. One, I am working more efficiently. Not having a car has forced me to plan my days better. Thus, more is getting done (from my perspective only). Two, not having a car always available has opened the doors to others asking if I would like to borrow their car. I tell them thank you and then invite them to join me on a visit. Riding together then turns out into a neat pastoral visit/conversation by itself. Three, I plotted all of the home bound/elderly members on a Metro Transit map and guess what? Nearly all are on or near a bus line or bike path!
Furthermore (I just love that word) I have been in the process of rediscovering and re-loving my commitment to of the Social Gospel (look for more in forthcoming posts).