My Bike Commute = Daily City Immersion

Space Needle through the xtracycle barsOne thing I like about bike commuting is the opportunity to experience more of my city. In the morning, I might see a single scull or kayak slip under the University Bridge, the rising sun reflecting on the Olympic range, or a familiar landmark partially obscured by fog.

Of course, the downside of such an immersion is a heightened awareness of Seattle’s runaway construction projects. I rant about the state of our roads because I’m all too aware of how poor they’ve become. As I daily dodge cement trucks, impromptu street closures, and poorly patched pavement—a victim of heavy equipment or new-utility runs—I can only wonder about the sustainability of Seattle’s current development choices.

In the morning, I worry if Seattle knows what she is doing.

Come evening, the construction workers have packed it in for the day and darkness helps hide Seattle’s open sores. Her familiar skyline shines, cheerfully helping me ignore the forest of yellow cranes. I ride and watch happy couples queuing up for dinner or drinks on Eastlake. On the Ave, I ride and feel the energy of students finished with classes for the day.

In the morning I curse the effort stolen by a south wind. But in the evening, that same wind—the bigger the better—means a speedier trip home to my family. I catch a lucky low tide; the wind carries the fresh, salty breath of Elliot Bay.

I’m reminded that I’m less than a mile from a body of water that connects me to the entire world and exactly where where I want to be.


5 responses to “My Bike Commute = Daily City Immersion

  1. lovely writing,
    you set the scene wonderfully

  2. Tim, about the streets. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t we vote to tax the living daylights out of ourselves to pave the streets of Seattle? (I think it’s been over a year). Everyday the streets get worse and worse.

  3. Thank you, David. My evocative writing skills feel a bit rusty these days so I appreciate the kind words!

    Marge: I think the plan is to wait until all the development is finished, and then, if it’s OK with developers and won’t disrupt their tenants too much, the city will fix the streets. Assuming, of course, that we didn’t use the whole budget making temporary repairs during the whole development phase. Sigh…

  4. Wait…development…finished…is that possible? I know in some areas the temporary patches are barely cool before they have to be torn up to install utilities for the next development, next door. It’s like the Winchester house – our prosperity depends on the real estate market and ever increasing profits – “the sound of the hammers must never stop.” Hell of a curse.

  5. Pingback: Downtown Xtracycle Errand Day « Car Free Days

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