Last Spring, I posted about a bike ride. Here's another one.
Sune, my little Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, likes getting to go with me. She sits in the basket on the front of my bike (named Mabel, a pic of her here) and makes almost everyone we pass smile or giggle, seeing her in there with her nose twitching to take in all the smells, her big, bright, black, anime character eyes watching for bunnies and lizards. If she sees them soon enough, she gives an obligatory growl so I know she would protect me, if the need arose.
A couple of weeks ago, we got to the end of the ride and turned around to go home. Wondering if she would be more comfortable if she was lying down, I smooshed her gently into the bottom of the basket. She seemed to like that all right, but she couldn't see out because of the basket liner I sewed; it was in her way. So she raised her chin, pushed the liner down a bit with it, and poked her nose out between the bars of the basket so she could still see and smell.
As soon as her harness comes out of the drawer before a ride, Sune starts doing a happy dance. She stays very still while I buckle her in, though. If I put on her harness last thing before we go out the door, she starts getting excited just seeing me lace up my tennis shoes. She knows what it means when Mama gets the bike out. Adventures! Sunshine! Smells!
Here was my view going East on my ride tonight. You can see Grand Mesa in the distance dappled with sunlight and shadows from the clouds high above. More clouds are piled up over the top of it. There are some industrial buildings on the other side of this field, and up close, a barbed wire fence to separate it from the riverfront trail we ride on.
Heading West on the way back home, the clouds ahead were all shades of white and grey and even blue. The sun shone through and around them in turns, a picture no human could ever fully capture with paintbrush or camera. You just had to be there.
We passed a woman walking her dog, a calm brown Boxer, and just as I called from behind them, "On your left!" I passed through a swarm of gnats. I think only one or two of them hit the back of my throat; the rest bounced harmlessly off my cheeks, neck, and sunglasses.
Over the empty ditch, back through the streets of semi-run-down houses, roll through the stop sign, and swerve into my little rectangle of town homes. A mommy and her baby were saying high to a friend in an open-top Jeep in the parking lot; they laughed to see us, and the friend tried to direct the baby's attention to the "little doggie" in the basket.
Hop off the bike, let the dog down onto the ground. Struggle to keep the screen door open and get the bike inside at the same time, all while not running over the dog or letting the cat, escape artist that she (thinks she) is, dash out. Basket off, plastic bag over the seat, steer it through the sliding glass door into the back yard to park it. Inside, Sune and I both get a drink of water.