Apr 202024
Earth Day Market Ride 2024

What a gorgeous day for the annual event! Unlike last year’s somewhat gray day, this year we got blue skies, sunshine, and warming temperatures. I kept up my streak for #30DaysOfBiking, which is rolling along nicely.

People of all shapes and sizes on bikes and trikes of all shapes and sizes met up at designated locations around town and played Follow the Leader to Heritage Park. I rode sweep for our group and got to chat with a woman recently arrived from Peru, for whom this was her first outing beyond the neighborhood where her friend, also on the ride, has been building her confidence. We had everyone from kids on tiny, tiny bikes wearing helmets seemingly bigger than their bodies to their parents pulling the just-in-case bailout trailer to experienced riders in Lycra clipping in.

At the park we sipped coffee, picked up information and buttons showing we’re book lovers courtesy of Timberland Regional Library (thanks Timberland!), waited with anticipation for the prize drawings and clapped when kids won two of the prizes including the coveted brass bell, and got our picture taken in a big group photo.

From there the brightly colored crowd, bells ringing, rolled through downtown to the Olympia Farmers’ Market, ready to spend the $1 market money tokens each of us had received. Police volunteers held back drivers at intersections as we took the street, illustrating nicely how you can quickly move a few hundred people very space efficiently in a small amount of time. If we had each been in an individual vehicle downtown would have come to a complete halt for hours, not minutes.

At the market I bought a beautiful bouquet, some crimini mushrooms, groundcover plants and parsley for my garden, and a scoop of delicious salted cookies and cream ice cream that I ate sitting in the sunshine. So many happy people enjoying life all in one place—fabulous!

The event is a reunion, in a way. I saw people I talked with at the event last year, people I work with in my day job who were there as parents with cargo bikes, and colleagues from other state agencies realizing we live in the same neighborhood and could get together for coffee at the delicious local bakery across from our gathering place at the elementary school.

An annual bike event is a beautiful community-building gathering. I smiled all the way home with my pannier full of flowers.

Sharing is karma--pass it along!

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