Category Archives: Commute Reflections

Mailbox on the 1000K

Chasing Mailboxes: The Pursuit of Something More

Where does your energy go? What do you choose to pursue? Does each day pass in a blur of routine, or do you save a sliver of time to wonder about the existence of something deeper? You don’t know what the something deeper is, exactly, and you are not convinced it is a thing.

You hold onto an optimistic belief that if you go out in the world, if you work out, read more, eat better, if you try and stretch yourself in some way, eventually you will find it. Your personal pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The sense that your something deeper is out there helps you wake up each day.

Photo by Bill Beck
Photo by Bill Beck

Earlier this week, Josie Bike Life featured me as part of her Women Involved series. (Josie’s been doing a great job highlighting women who ride and also write about bicycling.) Rebecca, of VeloVoice, asked me how I came to my blog name, Chasing Mailboxes.

In part, I called it Chasing Mailboxes because of all the times I’ve been out riding, certain I saw another rider or person up ahead, only to realize upon approach that my eyes were playing tricks on me.

Over the years, I have seen people on bikes, cyclists changing tires, a person waiting to be picked up by the school bus, and even deer standing by the side of the road that all turned out to be mailboxes.

However, every time I see what I think is a person up ahead it piques my curiosity, and energizes me to push a little harder on the pedals.

Mailbox on the 1000K

Chasing Mailboxes also serves as a space to explore that something deeper I’m often trying to uncover.

I write about dreams I thought I had that look different in reality, and unexpected sublime moments. Chasing Mailboxes helps me gain a better understanding of myself and my relationship with bicycling. And through writing, I gain perspective.

My pursuit of the something deeper never ends, but through Chasing Mailboxes I creep ever-closer to it. Thanks for reading along.

Quickbeam and the Potomac-summer

Bicycle as Escape

I never seem to tire of writing about bicycles. I love talking about them, dreaming about my next bike trip, figuring out the perfect bike commute setup, pondering the ins and outs of randonneuring… you get the idea.

This love of riding bikes led me to start Chasing Mailboxes. I was searching for an outlet to write more creatively, compared to the technical writing and editing I do in my work, and wanted to focus on a topic that I felt passionately about, but was not overly intimate.

Chasing Mailboxes is a platform to diary the sensations experienced while cycling, These may include moments of discomfort, jubilation, frustration, or even self-doubt. It’s remarkable how the simple act of riding a bicycle can serve as a petri dish for so many physical and emotional states. Continue reading

Not a historic photo. Yet

“Bikes” All The Go: From 1904 to 2014

Two weeks ago, I attended “Pedaling Through History: A Look at Cycling Collections Across the Library of Congress,” a one-day exhibit at the Library of Congress. I learned about it via Rambling Rider so hat tip to her and all those fancy things people say.

Lady Cyclers

“Pedaling Through History” was a compact display full of ye olde treasure. Photos, illustrations, books, letters, sheet music, newspaper articles, trade publications, maps featuring bicycle-friendly routes, and movie clips  were some of the items shown. Continue reading

Tikit - Private No Parking

Washington, D.C. Bike Commute Scrapbook

Morning ride to American University. Many nice plants here.
Morning ride to American University. Many nice plants here.

What a week. Four sparkling summer days, top notch training, and a ride along with a friend on a couple of days, too. I celebrated the end of my Bike Friday Tikit field trips to Northwest D.C. with a photo safari on today’s ride home, in part to stretch out my time in the afternoon sun and also to remind me why I should travel this way again soon. Continue reading

Tikit n me by Felkerino

@SharrowsDC Ride Along in #BikeDC

Photo by Felkerino
Photo by Felkerino

As a child, I spent part of my summer days taking swimming lessons. My sister and I would walk with Jeff, the neighbor boy, to the bus that would take us to our swimming lessons in the town seven miles down the road.

I did not like swimming lessons, but I enjoyed the walk to and from the bus. Jeff, Middle Gersemalina, and I would chat about the things little kids do and there was no hurry to get home, except that nagging hunger that often comes post-swimming.

The past two days Brian, aka @sharrowsDC, and I have commuted home together because I happen to be spending a few days in his neck of the work woods. Our rides reminded me of those walks home after swimming lessons. Relaxed and easy, a time to unwind after hours of doing something more structured. Continue reading

Four Years of Chasing Mailboxes

2014 D.C. Randonneurs 600K, photo by Bill Beck
2014 D.C. Randonneurs 600K, photo by Bill Beck

In the middle of a love affair with bicycling and Washington, D.C., I wrote my first post for Chasing Mailboxes. Four years later, this blog is still going. The love affair has hit some sticky wickets over time, but most days it continues, too.

In the initial year, posts read more like postcards than letters. More reserved with my topics and content, I often wrote from the outside in, contemplating what the blog’s audience would think while I composed each post.

Over time, that changed and this space became a place for greater reflection. Continue reading