30 September 2014

The Cycling Clergyman: Things Not Seen or Heard, Installment #8

When I was 16 or so I wished more than anything that my dad had a "cool" truck.  Instead, we had an old beat up truck and a not so old and not so beat up truck.  Every time I voiced my desire for a better looking truck my father would repeat a saying his father used to employ, "Once you get where you're going, and are inside, no one knows or cares how you got there; they only care that you are there." But at 16 I would roll my eyes, now I see the wisdom in that saying.

Last week I took the bus over to St. Paul to officiate a wedding.  It was a beautiful Friday, so I also took my bike with me; so I could bike home after the wedding.  It felt a little odd carrying my bible, service book, and a change of clothes with me - all while wearing a suit - onto the bus.  But once the bus stopped and after I unloaded my bike, and after I arrived at the location of the wedding - no one noticed (except for the groom) that I walked my bike from the bus stop to the venue.  My grandfather was right again, no one cared how I got there; they only cared that I got there.  Nevertheless, I did have to do some clever manuvering, once I slipped back into civilian clothes, away from the wedding pictures being taken and over to my locked bike.

Now for some updates.
1.  On the ride back to Mpls I took the MRT (a bike trail that runs along the Mississippi River).  As I coasted down a hill something joing me in my coast: a bald eagle.  It was so beautiful and magical that I was lulled into a hypnotic trance.  I mention this because if the eagle had not turned abruptly I would not have turned my head and noticed the turn, the turn that keeps bicyclists from tumbling head first into oncoming traffic.  Word to the wise: eagles are beautiful and somewhat trustworthy, but dont think they are fully trustworthy.  I wouldn't be surprised if the eagle was trying to build up my trust so that next time he would not turn, causing me to crash, so that scavenger could feast on my scattered parts.

2.  Bus Justice.  The other day I was immersed in a book while riding from downtown Mpls back to church when a scuffle started.  It seems one elderly gentleman was upset with the lady sitting next to him.  The elderly man started yelling and cursing.  The dude sitting beside me, calmly, with a lolipop in his mouth, shouted, "Shut the F*** up and sit your f***ing a** down"  The elderly man stood up and got off the bus.  Would the same thing have happened if I had gone to the elderly man and got between him and the woman (which was what I was going to do)?  How would the elderly man have reacted if I had calmly told him to sit down, take my seat, and chill out?  I dont know.  The bus was moving, there were a lot of people aboard.  Maybe at the moment all that could have been done was to yell, calmly, with a lolipop in your mouth, Shut the...  But I hope not.

3.  The Importance of a Living Wage.  As I rode the bus up from the police station downtown a woman got aboard wearing a subway sweatshirt.  The woman next to her asked if she, indeed, worked at subway to which the woman replied, "Nope, I work at the grocery store.  But I applied to work at the new warehouse where they pay $16/hour.  If I could make $16/hour do you know what that would mean for me?"

4.  On Being Lazy, or the Temptation to be Lazy.  A couple weeks ago I used, for the first time, Car2Go.  It was a great experience.  I noticed thereafter how tempting it is to just use Car2Go rather than ride my bike or take the bus.  Because riding my bike and taking the bus takes more time, and I have to plan my days out more.  How easy it is to simply take the Car2Go wherever and whenever I need to go.  Sure, it has been a great benefit to use the carsharing tool but it also nearly sunk my bike/bus experiment.

It is kind of like organics recycling.  Minneapolis now has an organics recycling program, which is great.  I now have a place to put bones and dryer lint and wax paper and pizza boxes.  But you can also place paper towels, tissues, paper plates and such in the organics recycling.  Rather than limiting my use of paper towles I think no big deal I can recycle them.  But that's not the point.

Perhaps that is why sloth is one of seven deadly sins.  Because before you know it, not only are you right back where you started but even worse off than when you first started.

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