Pedals and paint, a fresh look at where we live
Having received my granddaughter’s permission to work with her 24-inch mountain bike, I pulled it out of its storage place in the garage and started to take a serious look at what I was in for. A girl’s bike is a lot more convenient than trying to lift my leg over the seat.
A few months ago, I took my son’s bike for a short spin around the yard, then stopped and congratulated myself for not falling. Dismounting, my leg caught the seat and there I was lying under the bike. Luckily I was in the grass of my front yard which is a lot softer than the street or driveway. The narrow handle bars on his bike also felt very insecure, something a little wider would be better for me.
Well, I pumped up the tires of my granddaughter’s bike, looked it over, everything seemed okay. Like I would know, three speeds was all the rage when I did any biking and with hers, she had a lot of gears.
I guess I will have to get a book and start reading or maybe someone like Gene Pass will give me a little advice and some words of wisdom. Anyhow, the handle bars seemed farther apart from the center and I felt more stable. It could be just an illusion, sometimes it seems I suffer from more of them lately.
Now looking at this little bike, I started wondering how and where I was going to carry my painting stuff. I started to store and Internet shop for carriers for the back and front and maybe even something I could wear to also carry stuff.
I started thinking about the protection of the rider, me. I saw some elbow and knee pads in a set. I think they were for skateboarders; maybe, that would be overkill. I can just hear people say, “Here comes the armored artist. Let’s watch him fall and see if he can get up with all that stuff on him.”
Anyway, I’m working on my equipment problem and trying to learn some basic maintenance. Bicycling is great exercise and with the price of gas getting higher and higher, pedal power is looking better and better. I see some of my friends who are 20 years my senior still hitting the bike trail so maybe I can do it also.
The last biker painting I did was auctioned and purchased by one of the two bikers who were in the painting of my friends, Jim Keen and Bob Rea. I tried and felt that I did accomplish a decent likeness of them both. At the time, my mind was about as far away from me biking as it could have been but now I’m looking at new possibilities and ways to explore our countryside.
The plans are not to pedal across the U.S. but maybe across Madison County and then only in small parts at a time. My main objective is to paint and take pictures.
And my real justification for this endeavor is that I will be a better teacher and help more people to see what a beautiful place we call home.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. You can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (740) 852-4906.