There Goes the Neighborhood


Today I tried something I have never done before. I rode my bike from my house in Haslett into Lansing. I packed a backpack with my camera, my map, my notebook and pen, a bottle of water and my cell phone. Out of a childhood habit I hunted down 2 dimes to put in my sock only to realize I didn’t really have a need to use a pay phone anymore; old biking habits. I wore all the right gear and felt really good about this adventure. As a young person I rode my bike everywhere, often reaching distances of 20 miles or more. Despite not riding a bike (without a child carrier of some sort) in over 5 years, I knew I could do this! With foot on the left pedal I limberly straddled the bike and headed out to the streets. We live in an area in Haslett that is quite literally up hill both ways. I didn’t mind it heading out but coming back was a different story. There are a few trails that I could get to but they are not the most direct route. I have always been a road biker. I was taught early on how to ride the bike using all the rules of the road, including the arm signals to let drivers know your path. I headed out to Saginaw Highway. Most of this route has a very large extra lane. It was flat, far from cars and perfect for biking. In just under 15 minutes I had made it to Hagadorn Rd. That was when I heard a loud hissing noise and knew I had popped a tire. Instead of giving up, I called my husband, Pat, and asked him to bring me his bike. I was determined to do this ride. In ten minutes flat I was on another bike and quickly riding through East Lansing towards the eastern edge of Lansing. It took me about 38 minutes to get from my house to Frandor. This edge of Lansing was one I had walked before but I had little sections I had missed. This would be the perfect way to finish this section. I could walk the areas I needed to walk and use my bike to quickly get to the next area. I’m sure that if anyone was really paying attention to me they would have thought I was a little odd; riding a block getting off the bike and then walking the bike while holding a camera and a map. The total city walking I did was 4.6 miles. That’s one of my longest walks so far on top of the longest bike ride so far. I might regret that tomorrow. But it felt great getting another complete neighborhood finished.

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