Up ahead I see a man lounging on the pavement in shorts — no shoes, no socks, no shirt. Leaning up against a utility box, he is a white man tanned browner than a band aid. His feet nearly reach the curb, so I step off my bike and wheel it gingerly past him. We exchange good mornings, and I hop back on and head toward Tropicana Avenue to hang a left.
It’s warm out for my first trip to Charlie Frias Park in Las Vegas. Riding on sidewalks is legal here, so I take advantage of it sometimes when the streets have no bicycle lanes.
I had a sort of outdoorsy conversion experience a couple of months ago after a drunk driver plowed into my beloved Nissan Versa and splattered it like a pinata all over the road near my house, leaving it totaled.
My awakening, so to speak, didn’t stem from the fact that I had a near-death experience or anything of that sort. In fact, the collision occurred at around 3 a.m. when I was in my bed sleeping. No, my shift was driven by my subsequently becoming a pedestrian / bus commuter, and then, soon after, a bicyclist — by choice, meaning I opted against getting another car. Continue reading