Saturday, July 10, 2010

Downtown Dawdling

It's been raining a lot lately so I haven't been riding the bike as much as I'd like. So after dinner tonight, I hopped on my trusty single speed and headed... well, I just rode for a while without really knowing where I was heading.

I rode through the upscale Tanglewood neighborhood, then by Colonial Country Club and the Zoo, then across into Southside. Having gone through all my water already, I stopped into a convenience store and grabbed a sport drink, only to find that I only had a dollar in my wallet. The only wet stuff a dollar would buy was a can of soda, so I put the sport drink back and picked up a Squirt. It's been a long time since I had one of those; it was tasty, and I now had thirty-five cents left from the dollar.

I ended up on eastbound Vickery which splits into two routes- one went to an above-ground intersection; the other went down. I wasn't sure if it was the thing to do but I went down into the tunnel which makes a hard left turn and merges with Jennings. The reason I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do is that I wasn't sure if there might be folks of less than honorable intent down there. The only indication of them was a scent of stale urine (ew, I know). One of the things that I usually like about riding a bike is you get to smell the smells. Often that's a good thing, but not in this case.

Anyway, I popped up on the other side of the tracks in Downtown. Again, I wasn't sure where I was going, so I just kind of trundled around a bit. I heard music over by the recently closed Dixie House at 5th & Houston. I pulled up on the curb and heard this guy playing his slide guitar and singing.

I stopped and listened. Once he was done with his song, I got up and told him, "I won't keep you in suspense; I've only got thirty-five cents for you, but you deserve more." He said, "Oh, that's alright." Then he played a few more songs while I sat there. No one else stopped to listen, which I thought was a shame. I stayed, hoping someone else would get the idea and kick in a buck or two, but no.

I will say this about the spot he picked: It wasn't profitable, but it was a great place to people-watch, with several smartly dressed couples out on dates and a couple of bachelorette party groups walking by.

Having nothing more to contribute, I hopped back on my bike. I rolled by the Starbucks on Houston and asked if they could fill up my water bottle from their tap which they readily agreed to do. (Now I need to go back there an actually pay for something next time.)

I rode home on the Trinity Trail, detouring off into Trinity Park where several picnics and birthday parties were happening. I just cruised through, then got back on the Trinity Trail and finally got off at Overton Creek and took a familiar route home.

On the last hill I have to climb, a rather steep one, a dog came after me. I think I could have outrun it, but decided I didn't want to and just stopped. The dog barked at me a little then came over and made a new friend. I made a couple new friends as well, as the couple that owned him was out in the yard and we chatted for a few minutes. Finally I headed for home.

A pointless ride, really, in terms of destination. But it was a good ride for my psyche.


Avus said...

Pleasant post, Doohickie. Nice to just potter aimlessly once in a while...and there are often unexpected rewards, as you found.

Pondero said...

A good way to make the rounds, and see what is going around around you. A nice contrast to planning, organization, and structure that has it's own rewards.