Sunday, March 24, 2013

Musings of a morning rider

Time to STP: 109 Days
For my Sunday post, I typically will spend some time talking about things I learned on the saddle, interesting routes taken or basically anything as a chronicle of what it was I observed and generally just trying to be helpful to anyone who reads this on things they want to think about while on the road.
However, this week I had my kids, so per normal my entire morning and weekend rides had to be squeezed into the period before my children woke up.  So, instead I just wanted to spend a moment talking about the things that I see on my urban rides.  It is so interesting the things that you see.  For me, some things become like landmarks.  I know once I have passed the Chevron that I am about 2 miles away from my turn around point for my workday morning rides.  But, during the weekends...the Chevron is just another gas station that I will pass.
Along Fourth Plain there is this video store at the end of this single level stretch of buildings across from what used to be a grocery store (and was recently demolished).  When I lived closer, I used to pass by this strip of shops all the time, and they were all the same (although a Dog Groomer recently moved in and has a really neat Snoopy above their shop now), and the white painted building looked like one those that was probably put in when this region of Fourth Plain was developing from a smaller community minded area into something that saw a good deal more traffic.  I imagine a haberdasher was probably in one of those white brick shops.
But one of the places that I have seen in the whole of the time that I have lived in the area is this video store.  It is at the end of the white brick shops and is the one place with something resembling a professional looking sign attached to it.  In all the time I have passed it, I couldn't tell you the name of it.  And now that I ride past it at least 5 days a week on Betsy, I spend some of my mental energy imagining it.  It is the kind of video shop that I remember going to as a kid.  Where the VHS tapes were crammed everywhere in something vaguely resembling order.  The order was usually by genre and then alphabetical, but the last bit was always a little questionable. 
Stuffed in between the copy of Ghost and Ghostbusters 2 was Ghostslayer: The Reckoning (not an actual movie title) or some other thing that the video store owner had to purchase in order to get the latest copy of a Bruce Willis flick from the studio and even though it was a B film, the contract for the video store owner stipulated that Ghostslayer was part of the Bruce Willis deal.  As I pass by this shop that has only one window facing the street, I don't see posters from movies just released, but movies released 6-8 months ago.  They cover the makeshift plywood counter that the old monochromatic CRT monitor sits on and where the plastic box that holds index cards with every one's account information also sits snugged up to the multi-like rotary telephone.
This place is just a glimpse of my youth.  It even says, subtly but directly, that they carry Adult Videos.  I imagine that they are in the part of the white brick building that hasn't seen natural light since 1962 and they are hidden behind a beaded curtain that was made in the same year.  If the posters in the front are eight months old, then undoubtedly so are the films of ill repute that lay behind that beige macrame wall.  Countless a kid has stood on the other side of that curtain, wondering what is there, wondering what treasures it may hold only to be pulled by the balding video store owner, back to the reality of the kids section which contains Toy Story and the complete boxed Gundam series.
I don't know if I am going to ever make it into this store, though during the morning when the frosty breath proceeds my wheels, I tell myself I will.  Looking at this video store is another milestone for me (1 mile to the morning turn around point) and a reminder of the youth I had when riding a bike all day meant I was going to my friends house with 50 cents and my squirt gun.

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