I can hear my city. With each revolution, with each passing monument, with each wrinkle in the pavement that tells a different story as they reverberate through my wheels and deep down into my bones, I can hear it.
When the world is sound asleep, the delta breeze takes my hand as I glide my Type 2 from corner to corner. She guides me through the city, from the Tower Bridge to Land Park, Broadway to City Hall. The Capitol, towering tall against the sunrise, is a beacon for us as we wander the grid.
The air is crisp as we round familiar corners to find the unfamiliar; the shadows that fall on the streets and buildings, the smell of the asphalt as the dew begins to wane, the rustle of the trees as they dance with the wind. My city has been speaking to me in ways I never knew, in ways I thought I could never understand, but my bicycle became the translator; we three could be here for the rest of my life, and no two conversations would ever be the same.
As the city comes to life, it whispers to me through the rubber soles pounding the sidewalk and the idle conversations of passing pedestrians. We glide through the still, Northern California air, and my Type 2 adds another layer to the urban orchestra as it takes me block-by-block. The air perfume with the exhaust of busses and taxis mingling with the cool, comforting aroma of concrete and steel. The emerging sun bites my cheeks, saturates my clothes with its warmth, and reminds me that, yes, I am alive.
The roads continue to rumble beneath me, telling me stories of character, of the people that I share my travels with. The down-on-their-luck, the prestigious, the restless, the mindful. My city tells the tales of thousands without bias; it is a statue, peppered with the fingerprints of each passerby, molded by their needs and desires.
The sun slowly sinks, and so does my city. The clamor and the chatter of the world around me subsides, leaving just me, my bike, and the road. The pavement glistens under street lamps and the emerging moonlight, and the delicate heat left by the sun begins to subside, leaving just the cooling air of a day turning to night. But the city still speaks. The words are different, but, with an aluminum frame beneath me, I listen with the same intensity.
A city begs to be heard. To be consumed and understood, to enrich and enliven. All it needs is someone willing to listen.