Ride Home, Day 2: Brinnon to Olympia
The time was 9:06 AM when I left the hotel room in Brinnon. I rode 60 slow miles today.
Ride home, day 2 route
It was cold and windy. Riding by the water was challenging. At some points the headwinds were so strong that my bike would have stopped (and moved backwards it seemed) if I ceased pedaling.
Water makes wind.
It was cold. Highway 101 was long and hilly. I’m glad I didn’t ride up it to get to Port Townsend. It’s kind of a boring road. Maybe I’m just tired.
For some reason I kept singing a silly song over and over in my head this afternoon. For the life of me I can’t recall it now. It’s a nonsense song for kids. Being alone on the ride makes me withdraw into my thoughts. It’s a five or six hour meditation. I was really in the zone today until, on a very narrow stretch of road, someone yelled at me out of their Jeep window as they passed 18 inches to my left. It’s kind of like someone sneaking up on you and yelling in your ear.
While in school this past week, my classmate Stephanie mentioned something that stuck with me. She told of a young man who went to another country to work with poor people. When he returned to the states he swore off using hot water because some people in the world don’t even have running water. She said it lasted about a week and then he reconsidered. He now takes hot showers again.
You or Me
In 1997 I performed at a storytelling festival as one of three featured performers. The show was on a Friday night. Just before we went on stage the organizers told us (performers) to cut our act to just 20 minutes because they wanted the audience to have time to attend an outdoor community event that was coinciding with our show.
I did as they asked and performed for 20 minutes. The next performer did his entire act (30-40 minutes) and the following performer did his entire act as well. When the whole show was done the organizer said to me, “I don’t remember your show being so short.” He had seen me perform a year prior and was comparing. I felt tricked, as if everyone somehow knew not to cut their set short.
After a very long ride, I made it to Olympia. This city is becoming familiar to me now. The sun came out.
Solar powered parking meter.
During my walk around town, several well dressed teens approached me and asked for money so they could take the bus home. One man in his twenties asked for fifty cents and then asked for weed. I passed a crowded soup kitchen near the post office and then took a walk through the downtown area. Two cops were marching down the street as if they were responding to a call. I expected to see some action until they stormed through the doors at Starbucks.
Get a Tattoo.
This is a college town. Kids hang out playing guitars on the corner. There was a music festival on the waterfront. There’s a bit of energy here. It’s hard to explain. It reminds me of being a kid again. I went into the funky shops, the music store and a cool used book store that sold stickers and patches.
Racism and sexism is racism and sexism.
While flipping through the stickers, I spotted the message in the photo above. It made me feel like there are no solutions. Maybe I just need some sleep.