Rolling into third place. 30 days of biking, #8

It’s the footnote to every essay every day in April: how many miles pedaled. And it’s often the same.

One mile.

Go ahead, look. Yep, not 20 miles. Not 10 miles. One mile. Barely more than than the much-noted single step at the beginning of a thousand-mile journey.

It’s always a good ride. It’s a ride to CxT, the coffee shop: a third place, a place where anyone can go, a place of voluntary community, a place that isn’t a first place (home) or a second place (work).

If you spend most of your time on the internet, you should try a third place once in a while. It’s pretty wild.

Turns out people in the real world are just like you: displacing air in three dimensions, generating sounds—either directly, in the form of greetings, drink orders, and conversation, or indirectly, by moving chairs, cups and doors—and throwing shadows, which never complain of their treatment.

If it’s cold outside and someone opens the door, it’s cold inside, not uniformly across the room, but mostly to one side of the door. You see people pull their jackets tighter. Sometimes it’s you doing the pulling—depends on where you are, the number of people between you and the door, and whether anyone is standing.

It’s a mathematically fluid situation.

If it’s cold outside and you’re sitting next to the window, heat comes to you from 93 million miles away.

To you. Just sitting there. For free, without asking.

If it’s warm outside, the space grows to include outside seating. CxT is a flexible venue, expanding and contracting with the weather and seasons.

If you compressed time, movement around this third place would remind you of a lung.

Which seems like an appropriate place to state the obvious: you can’t live without a lung.

On a summer day, you walk or ride from the trail toward this third place. You aren’t there and then, within a few feet, you are. Someone asks if you want coffee. Turns out you do. You pull a book out of your backpack. You read, whatever you want to read. Or talk—talking’s good, too.

What a great place to be. And it’s only a mile away?


April 8, 1 mile

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
This entry was posted in #30daysofbiking, bicycle, Infrastructure, Mongoose Deception, Report from the road and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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