Science, to me, is how we understand our world - all that’s in it, how all the pieces fit together, our place in the wider cosmos. It’s about asking questions, searching for answers and then sharing with each other what we’ve learned. It’s a journey, really, because we’ll always have more questions to answer, more knowledge to share. We’ll always have more to learn.
That, in a nutshell, is how I came up with the idea for Basket & Bike. My bike opened new worlds to me - new places to discover, so much to learn. And, as I pedaled my way across each little journey, there was so much I wanted to share. I believed others would want to come along for the ride. And, since it’s all about discovery, the basket seemed somehow important to me.
It’s a symbol of the things we take with us - a snack, some cold water, a journal and pen, a scarf - as well as the things we might bring home. A pine cone from a roadside picnic stop at the edge of the forest on a summer’s day. A clutch of colorful leaves in autumn. A book about life on a Virginia plantation four centuries ago on the James. A scallop shell, the Chesapeactan Jeffersonious - our state fossil (did you know we had one?), the size of a dinner plate, found by the shore.
Basket & Bike is a chance for recreation, exercise and good times with friends. It’s also something more. It’s a new way of looking at the beauty around us. A new way of looking at the history that shaped our Commonwealth, and our nation. A new way of looking at ourselves.
Rolling along quietly at twelve miles per hour, you see things you might miss from the car. The laughter of children playing in the schoolyard. A bevy of wild turkeys picking at a freshly cut field of corn. A great blue heron arcing across the sky with the grace of eternity beneath her wings. Our minds are made to ask questions, and to probe for understanding and thought.
Our hearts, though, long to touch places that speak to us as people. To gain the insights of the soul. To feel the rain on our parka, the wind in our hair and the sunshine across our face. We want to be out there, don’t we? We want to glide deeper into beauty and awe. That, to me, is what Basket & Bike is all about.
It’s about reaching a little deeper into the landscape, becoming a bit closer to this place we call home, traveling that great journey of discovery that has the power to enrich our lives, riding through our shared history, savoring the now and connecting us through a courage to build the future together.
Tonight, as pumpkins glow and the earth stirs up her haunted howls, our temperatures will dip into the 40s, and our inner clocks will turn the page to a deeper fall. The November sun will rise upon our saints, across the river, and along our paths. It really is the perfect time to reach for that fresh sweater or favorite scarf, hop on our bicycles, and head out for that last adventure or two, before days shorten our stride. Fall feels like the perfect time to glide.