So it was the first day of school in my county and that means bumper-to-bumper motor vehicle traffic on streets that continue to be dangerous-by-design. However, I'd like my usual bumper crop of lettuces, kale, peas, herbs, turnips, beets, and more this fall so that meant Traveling at the Speed Bike to get some seeds — and maybe even planting some seeds of change in people's minds (perhaps just children's) as they see me whiz past their minivans, oversized SUVS, and (increasingly) trucks. With no bike rack to greet me, I just trotted into the big box store with my trusty steed. Truth is, my bike (with its upcycled-ocean-plastic basket) is smaller and less cumbersome than a shopping cart would have been. However, I did feel a little like a bull-in-a-china shop in the lighting department (since my bike could fall over with the weight of my roller-skates in the basket) so I avoided that area! Speaking of my skates, I stopped at a park on the way home to skate around a bit (now that the school track and parking lots are off limits!). I've been skating alternately to Ella Fitzgerald and 70s Folks Music (which I thought was Church Music for years since I came of age in the 1970s-folk-mass-age). Yep, I'm the 57-year-old lady with the hand-painted skates that match my bike swirling around to Landslide. "Time makes you bolder, even children get older, and I'm getting older, too." It's getting a little pathetic. I may need to mix it up. :) Speaking of children, I saw none walking or biking home even though the time I came home was during dismissal from two elementary schools and the high school. And I was going slowly, too, since I rode on the sidewalk (in the only city in the State of Georgia where that is legal for people of all ages due to the admittance that our roads are unacceptably dangerous, even though the city keeps adding new bike lanes that don't meet NACTO guidelines). When my daughters rode to school, less than .001% of kids rode bikes there (and kids who rode bikes were dismissed dead last — please, God, tell me that's not still happening). That number is lower now. They were 8 and 13 years old when they came with me to City Hall when where we live became the newest city in the USA and promises were made about safe access for all. They are now 21 and 26. Children don't wait — they grow up. You can't feel like a kid again for the rest of your life — if you didn't ride a bike as a kid. This is a gift we can give children now, today. There's a story titled Hallelujeh in my book, Food for My Daughters, that you may find inspiring or helpful if you want your kids to experience riding a bike to or from school. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to brainstorm ways to make it work for your family. (Note: It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It could be just once, and it would still be a memory that won't ever be forgotten. Trust me.) My contact info is at TravelingAtTheSpeedOfbike.com. Anyhow, have I told you how all summer here in the southeastern USA at least one person says to me every day, usually in a parking lot when I'm arriving or leaving somewhere on my bike, that it's too hot a day for riding a bike? (Lol. Isn't it too hot a day for driving a car?) At least on a bike I get the downhills. I get to sing Summertime at the top of my lungs. And I get an outrageously refreshing glass of peppermint-spiked watermelon juice when I get home. (Plus, I ran into a friend during this ride, as usual. I also usually meet nice strangers. And I find free public fruit. Figs are ripe right now.) Considering that something like 70% of all motor vehicle trips are under three miles and maybe, just maybe my little action as one less car during a global pandemic and climate crisis can actually make a difference, I'll stick with the bike when running local errands.