Adventures are waiting around the corner for you when you ride a bike through the streets of Perth.

Yesterday I decided (against my own better judgement) to ride to work (for anyone attempting to keep track of my three jobs, I was working at the outdoor cinema).

I took my mum’s tricked up new bike (when she found out I wanted to borrow it so I could ride at night, she went out and equipped it with a LOUD bell, a rear vision mirror (??!!), a wire basket on the front, and hilariously flashing lights on the front and back – how good are mums?!) and I began the Mt Lawley to Kings Park trek.

I rode on the footpath, which is by far the less stressful way of doing it (initially I was riding on the road, but somewhere between Hyde Park and Newcastle St I lost my nerve when a commodore swerved at me – seemingly for his own amusement), and slowly and sedately made my way up to the top of the mountain.

I’m the first to admit that I’m out of shape, but Oh My God – there were a lot of hills! I was huffing and puffing and thinking I’d made the hugest mistake. But then I finally, after an embarrassingly long amount of time (I won’t shock you by telling you how long it took me to get there!) got to the entrance of Kings Park. And it felt so good.

Gliding along the tree-and-memorial-lined street, my ipod shuffled from Al Green to David Bowie, I took my sunglasses off so I could feel the air on my face and I honestly thought, “I could become addicted to this feeling”. My red face and wheezing chest stopped annoying me and just became something to laugh at myself about – I’m a bicycle convert!

If you think it couldn’t get any better than that, you’re dead wrong – the trip home was even better. Riding into the darkness of Kings Park, it felt like it the blackness was enticing you in, and you were going to be engulfed by it.

My co-worker and all-round-ace-guy, Ivan, also rode to work, and offered to show me an alternate way home. He took me through Subiaco (startlingly quiet – the only signs of life were the people giving off “needy vibes” in lines outside Red Sea and Llama, and the doof doof sounds coming out of the Subi Hotel), and onto a cool, semi-lit bike path next to the train station.

We chatted about Italy, films, work, my travel plans, anything that came into our heads. He was very nice and didn’t go to fast (once again I was huffing and puffing), so the night-lights whizzed past at a sightseeing pace, and I could look around and enjoy the view.

When we got to Northbridge he heard firecrackers, and we realised it was Chinese New Year – it was the work of a few seconds to u-turn down a dark road and end up on Money st, as the Chinese Dragons conga’d and the drums got wilder and my wheels ran over the red paper of the fire crackers cracked. I loved it – we were there, right in the thick of it, taking part in an experience that surely would have been lost if I was drivimg home in a car.

I know I have a terrible tendency to get lyrical about these little experiences of mine, and rhapsodise about how great everything is and sermonise about how wonderful life can be. Life’s not a bed of roses – but I much prefer to remember the good the stuff.

Ride a bike – don’t just watch your life, take part in it!

Advertisements