I’m not good at riding a bike with other people. I am bad at setting a pace and I’m bad at following a pace, so group rides aren’t my favorite. Also, for me, time on the bike is time to myself to just silently look around and think about stuff or think about nothing, so it took a little something to get me out of bed this morning and onto the bike to meet several hundred other people on bikes for the third annual Bicycle Second Line. I helped organize the thing last year, but I made sure I was needed to set up the after party, thus keeping me safely away from the crowd. Today, though, I was on the streets, sometimes pedaling sooooo slowly I almost lost my balance, other times riding as fast as I could to catch up. But you know what? It was fantastic. Riding up the Bayou and seeing the crowd of bicyclists gathered just made me so happy–there are a lot of us. And then somebody else was leading and the police were escorting, so I just got to stretch out on the Surly and pedal–even over the Broad Street overpass, one of NOLA’s tallest hills and one of the few places where riding solo feels a little dangerous. I had such a good time, and we raised money for a good cause–our New Orleans bike advocacy group, Bike Easy, formerly known as the Metro Bicycle Coalition. We’ve got to stay on the case to continue to make this city safe and easy for cyclists, because that how lots and lots of us get around. Throw some bones their way. And then I ran into a fellow blogger for our first real life meeting (she’s got a kick-ass bike, and we agree–your bike should be practical and useful so that you can ride it), talked to fellow advocates I hadn’t seen in awhile, and just soaked up all the bike love. I met friends afterward for a little spin at the Bayou Boogaloo, rode over to the Treme to see some other friends, and then on back home for a quick dip in the pool. That is a summer Sunday, and it was perfect.