Friday, September 22, 2023

The Summer of My Wildebeest-of-a-Bike

Thanks to my friend Deandre, I was able to enjoy bike riding this summer. This was because back in June, he found on the Internet a very reasonably priced Raleigh. Yes, Deandre has a real knack for finding sweet deals online.

I call it my wildebeest-of-a-bike. Why? Because the shape and angle of its handlebars are, to my eyes, similar to the horns of a wildebeest!

I love the following comment my dear friend Bernie shared on Facebook.

Mr B, you are a wildebeest at heart! 💜 Get out there and ride till your heart is full of freedom, fresh air and nature!

And that’s exactly what I strived to do this summer! . . . The summer of my wildebeest-of-a-bike, and the summer that ends today.

This evening I take a look back at this summer and how, since early June, I’ve been regularly cycling on the bike paths along both sides of the Mississippi River near my home in south Minneapolis. I’ve discovered that it’s a great way to both decompress after my work day and get in better shape.

For these reasons I hope to continue riding my wildebeest-of-a-bike into the autumn . . . and for as long as I can before it gets too dark and cold to do so.


Back in the spring of 2007, when I was living in St. Paul, I shared the following at The Wild Reed.

One of my favorite places to which I enjoy riding my bike, “Kongoni,” is a spot on the river bluffs below the University of St. Thomas. It’s a very peaceful place to sit, reflect, journal, and pray. Sometimes I simply sit in the warm sun and watch as the swallows dart back and forth across the great river. Occasionally, a barge – ladened with gravel or sand – will pass slowly by.

The sight of the nearby Lake St./Marshall Ave. Bridge and the dull and distant roar of planes from the airport, are often the only reminders that one is in the midst of a major metropolitan area. It’s quite amazing, really.

It’s interesting, don’t you think, that I also named the bike I had 16 years ago after a type of antelope – the kongoni, or hartebeest! . . . But then again, it’s not that surprising given that I’ve always had a love for the many different varieties of African antelopes – kudu, bongo, gazelle, sassaby, reedbuck, impala, kob, gerenuk, bushbuck, beira . . . the list goes on. I dare say my love as a child of the TV series Kimba the White Lion (right) accounts for my affinity with so many African animals, antelopes included.

On my bike rides this past summer, I’d often visit my “favorite spot” of all those years ago. Indeed, it’s still a favorite place of mine, and features in a number of this post’s photos, including above and the opening and closing images.




See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Spring 2023
June Vignettes
July Vignettes
August Vignettes
A Summer Sunset Psalm
Summer Vignettes (2022)
Summer’s Parting Gift (2022)
Summer’s End (2021)
Summer Blooms (2021)
Respite By the River (2020)
O Breath of Summer (2020)
In Summer Light (2014)
Spring in Minnesota (2007)

Images: Michael J. Bayly (except wildebeest images, the photographers of which are unknown).

No comments: