What a day! After getting up at the usual time (four), commuting, and babysitting, I was determined to wait around Hyde Park for a while to meet up for brunch with Nancy and a visiting Neha. I stumbled upon the Outdoor Adventure Club having an Earth Day campout on the quads, and they shared breakfast with me as I told them how back in my day, we slept out on the quads in tents made of tarps and park benches. Also, none of them knew who I was, so I had my first normal conversation about Scav Hunt in five years. Finally, I thanked them, exhorted them to come to the Mass tonight, and went over to the Backstory to fix the feeds. Neha did not make it to brunch, but Nancy and I went around afterwards to collect her, and the three of us just sort of wandered around for hours, enjoying the weather, occaisionally going barefoot, interrupting private events, planning potential road trips, and generally just loitering. By the end of this, I was extremely relaxed, perfectly contented, probably sunburnt, and had a blister on my toe that always gets weird blisters. We said our farewells and I biked home, tired and happy.
The day could have ended there; I gave thought to calling it a night, since I was already tired and blistered, and by the time I got home, it was already seventeen-thirty, the nominal start time of the Mass. But I knew it wouldn't start until six, so I changed into ligher pants, grabbed a waterbottle, a patch kit, and a pump, and rode off towards Daley Plaza. By the time I got there, I was surrounded by all sorts of other cyclists. We rounded the last corner to find Daley plaza absolutely packed with people and bicycles. This did not turn out to be the most impressive ride I've ever been on (don't misunderstand me, it was a definite second), but it was by far the largest. Over a thousand riders, though how many exactly, I have no idea. The route went generally west, then north through Humboldt Park, turned east at Logan Square, and went to the lakefront. The original map had called for either the Lakefront Path or LSD itself north of there, but either our escort of cops would not let us onto LSD, or there were enough South Siders present to veto going so far north. People sort of chilled on the beach for a while after that. I had ended up towards the rear after blocking off an intersection in Humboldt Park, so most people I knew were heading south seemed to have skedadled already by the time I was ready to go. I did make the aquantance of an undergrad named Sam, and when we were good and ready, we began our own little caravan south, with a stop south of North Beach for pictures, and detour to Trader Joe's, where we had a midnight picnic and loitered harder than I've done in years. When the wind began to pick up, Sam decided to call it a night and catch the bus, and continued on home, where I took a much needed shower and almost managed to stay awake long enough for my hair to dry.
So here I sit, still exhausted, still blissful, all the windows open and a pleasant breeze blowing through the living room. The entire palm of each hand is covered in bruises; I had meant to grab my riding gloves, but one always forgets something, yes? I had wrapped the toe-blister in medical tape, and it thankfully didn't get any worse, but after five hours in the saddle, I fear I may have blisters in more sensitive places. I spend the entire day, save those four hours in the morning and ten minutes at home, outside, on my feet or on Terrance's pedals, in the sunshine. What a day.
"If this isn't nice, what is?"
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