I think everytime I tell my baby I’m going for a bike ride — whether it’s around the neighborhood or across town –for a split second she has the urge to tell me not to. But instead of doing that she usually just takes a breath and gives me the big eyes and says a slow and open-ended “aaaaall riiiggggght…” full of concern at this strange and dangerous thing I’m more attracted to doing now in my middle age than at any other time previously in my life.

I think the group night bike rides I do several times a month, be it RIDE-Arc or Midnight Ridazz or its off-shoot Hollywood Ridazz or with the group of buddies evermore rapidily coming to be known as The Cyclists Formerly Known As The IAAL/MAF are less worrisome to her, perhaps because of the implied safety in numbers, but when I pop up out of nowhere and drop that I’m going to bike to work, such as I did this morning when she was still trying to get the cats and dogs fed and sweep the sleep out of her eyes, it’s cause for her to pause and consider how to put it nicely that such silly risk-taking is barely tolerable to her.

But above all that she also understands how much I enjoy it and how meaningful it is to me, even when I venturing into uncharted territory such as today — especially when venturing into uncharted territory. And so she accompanie this “aaaaall riiiight” with a roll of the eyes and a mostly understanding nod. Mostly. And

And so a short while later I kissed her goodbye, promised to be careful and  set out at 7:47 a.m. from the house, rolling a total of 15.8 miles down to Fourth and over to Vermont down to Exposition and across through Leimert Park and south on Crenshaw to Florence which becomes Aviation, which hits Imperial Highway and the office building where I work.

And I rolled into the parking lot at 8:43 a.m. Less than an hour. Dang. Nice.