Tonight, as I was sitting in the parlor of my home, reading Jean Anderson’s history of Durham, I heard that familiar hoarse bark I hear so often around the neighborhood, and which I have come to think of as the local fox’s bark. This time, though, it was right outside my western window, and as I looked out, I saw that it was indeed the fox barking. He saw me and moved away, coming to a stop in the middle of Cobb Street, looking back toward my home. I grabbed my camera and headed outside to take his picture, but he trotted away down the driveway of the abandoned modernist house across the street, where he appears to have a den.
So I didn’t get a picture, but I was motivated to write, for the first time in a while. I took a spill on my bike last week, after hitting one of the many potholes along South Buchanan, though now I think an accessory on my bike may have contributed to the accident: a red blinker electro-magnetically powered by the turn of my back wheel. That’s what it’s supposed to be, at least – it worked for only the first few weeks after I bought it, many years ago, and now, because of its need to hover near my wheel, it’s prone to being jostled between the spokes and bringing my bicycle to an abrupt halt, as happened last week. Or so I have reconstructed, seeing it nearly happen again this morning. I really must remove that broken bit of failed green technology from my vehicle. You’d think, given the several road-rash scabs I now sport, and the pain in my right wrist reminiscent of when I fractured it in another bike accident years ago (though not as bad, and getting better), you’d think I’d’ve removed the offending device as soon as I realized its likely culpability, but I’m a procrastinator when it comes to such practicalities.
The mechanics of bicycle commuting do intrude, even for a veteran. This morning, for the first time since I started my new commute in June, I had to bike in real rain: not a slight drizzle, nor a downpour I could simply out-wait, but a steady rainfall that left me soaked by the time I reached Brodie gym. With my wounded limbs emerging from wet clothes, I was not an advertisement for bicycle commuting.
But it gets better. It’s surely good to be so close to things. Last weekend Jenna and I walked from home to Durham’s new brewpub, Fullsteam. Sadly, they were out of their beer I really like, the Rocket Science IPA, but we stopped by Tyler’s at American Tobacco on the way back, and they had it on tap. Such are the consolations of the Urban B/Hiker lifestyle.