12 September 2009

a hazard on the road

I ride my bike to school every day. I guess this sounds pretty tame, maybe even a little sporty and probably smart in this era of rising gas prices and general flabbiness of the population.

But it's way out of my comfort zone. (Many swerves, wobbles and honking car horns out of it.)

My experience on a bike up until this point has been the sandy gravel roads and grassy trails of my youth. I'm used to riding barefoot in cutoffs with the wind at my back and a shriek in my throat (and, of course, with all of my young cousins keeping pace with me.)

Fast forward twenty years, and now I find that I have to contend with other moving vehicles in the inner-city on an unforgiving grid of tar and concrete. I have to protect my head with a helmet and wear practical shoes. 

No wonder I long for my banana-bike-and-ribbons-streaming-from-my-handle-bars-days, when my only concern was not getting caught up in the sandy sinkholes on the side of the road or getting tangled in branches and tree roots in the woods. The worse that could happen then was a skinned knee or a few scratches, now I have to contend with city buses and crazy people in cars. 

At the end of my first week of school, my thighs feel like mush, but I can imagine a time in the near future when I'll be road savvy and (almost) have the thighs of an elite cyclist.  Almost. 

P.S. These photos were taken along some of my old bike paths. The felted balls are a blend of wool and mohair from our sheep and goats which I carded, dyed and needle-felted into shape. 

This is just an attempt on my part to play around with color and shape and then see how the results fit into the landscape. I think they resemble strange seed pods or buds. Their color reminds me of the sprongy, shockingly-colored mushrooms that pop up all over the forest floor in the fall. 

 This experiment mirrors an installation my brother and I did last winter in our woods.  

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