22 April 2013

Documenting the Unextraordinary (aka "the Ordinary")

Now that I'm riding my bike everyday (or almost everyday), I'm finding that the #everydayonabike challenge isn't so much of a challenge any more. The real challenge is taking a picture everyday. My trips aren't usually very noteworthy - to school, from school, to the bank, to the post office. And then, when the ride is noteworthy, I'm too caught up in the moment to document it.

Case in point: On Saturday night, Nate and I rode downtown to attend a fundraiser for the kids' preschool. The event coincided with 4/20. And in Denver, that's a big holiday. Over 80,000 people were gathered a few blocks from downtown to celebrate cannabis. As Nate and I rode closer to downtown, we found ourselves surrounded by throngs of people who were leaving the celebration. As we walked, people began running around us. It was a paranoid, group-think type of run and we weren't sure what was going on.

When we arrived at the event location, we found some bike racks, and I was ready to pose for a shot. It's not often that I wear make-up AND do my hair AND wear nice clothes, so I was hoping to document it. However, the crowd's odd behavior unsettled us. As we walked toward the restaurant, a manager ushered us in and locked the door behind us. Turns out, someone had shot three people at the park and people were fleeing. It was a somber start to the evening.

on Colfax, after Saturday's fundraiser // bike parked at school
using the bike seat as a makeshift basket // one of our many snowy rides this month

But, I digress. Obviously we're OK and the event was fantastic.

Here I am though, still stuck with this challenge of documenting the everyday. And then I review my pictures and I decide that the mundane isn't so bad. Because the collection of photos shows how much I'm riding with my family. The photos also mark the change of season. There's a bit more green showing up in photos now and sometimes I can ride without a coat or jacket. So this exercise isn't only recording my bike habits, it's a great reminder of how much we're embracing the outdoors and our (wo)man-powered ability to get ourselves from one place to another. And that's not so bad.


Ann Wyse said...

Orange juice in the bike seat? - Awesome, if unextraordinary.

I'm hoping you'll be sharing some grocery-shopping-trips on the bike soon. (But no pressure for doing that today. ;-))

Introduction to Media & Culture said...

The bike seat has become a basket when it is sans baby. Not the most reliable for some items, but the juice fit perfectly.

I will share some tips - thanks for the idea! Although I need to get more legit first - perhaps a real basket or panniers?