One of my dearest friends became a senior-ita this week (her joke). To celebrate her milestone birthday, I took her on a bike ride. Kath hadn’t been on a bike for a couple decades at least, and it was on her wish list. I figured she’d be pretty wobbly to start and directed her to a spacious back lane to practice a little before hitting the seawall. But when she lifted her second foot off the ground, she rode like the wind. Kath credits her practice of other balancing activities, like Qigong, yoga and meditation for her steadiness.
We encountered quite a few surprises on our ride along the False Creek seawall. We ran into some of her kids, who were very surprised to see their mother on a bike. “Where are the training wheels?” one of them quipped. She just rang her bell proudly in reply.
Riding a bike gives you a very different perspective on the world. You’re above it all a little, but still in it too. You see things you may not notice otherwise. We saw a decomposing bulldozer, constructed from leftover, biodegradable panels from the Olympic Village by two Berlin artists and Emily Carr students. Right across from the bulldozer was the Grow Project, an urban gardening lab on the Village edges, headed up by artist Holly Schmidt. Both projects are presented by Other Sights for Artist’s Projects, an on-going series of artist’s works that look at sustainability in the South East False Creek development.
Seems art and land are meeting in a lot of places right now. Kath, an artist herself, told me about a series of courses and workshops being offered at Emily Carr, called the Second Nature lab. Turns out that’s curated by Holly Schmidt too. And this month, you can see a number of temporary land art installations on Granville Island by the Art is Land Network.
It’s good to shift gears and change our perspective from time to time. Taking the afternoon off to go for a ride with a friend sure helped me to maintain some balance. Part of the sustainability picture that is often neglected.