The past several days have been uncharacteristically cloudy, damp and cold. While a great excuse to clean, read, crochet, cook and snuggle, I was over being inside…after doing all of those things.

Being without a car for the time being, and always making mental notes (when I am driving) to explore my hood on foot, I set out on an Urban Hike, down Linksfield to and thru Norwood: outfitted with my new crochet tam wit pom pom, a vest, backpack, a pair of $1 stretch gloves and my favorite beatup Pumas.

For background, Linksfield, where I live, is a neighborhood slightly Northeast of Joburg’s city center. Equidistant between two major highways and shortcuts away to everything. It’s nicely tucked away while still being central, and sits at the base of a ridge (Linksfield Ridge), affording me some great views and dynamic climbs all around.

Demographically, the homeowners close to the Ridge are predominantly Jewish. I often see black hatted, bearded men walking on Fridays with those tassels hanging down from their waists, and skirted women in local shops. Closer to Louis Botha, the area is more mixed…racially as well as ethnically. While not Yeoville, there is a diverse sampling of Africanness that I enjoy…with shops and energy to match. The Zulu chemist is next door to a West African Boo Boo (men’s clothing) store.

My walk down was peaceful. I remember a quip a former boss told me of a good photo exercise: walk thru your neighborhood and take a snapshot every 50 steps. I didn’t do it, but will one day…you should.

Long story short, my Urban Hike turned Urban Bike on the way home…when I saw Buzz.

Buzz is my new buddy for these things. I’d seen a bike shop en auto and my interest was punctuated by the Onitsuka Tiger sign on the adjacent marquee. Didn’t see any Onitsukas, but did cop a great yellow/black mountain bike and lock for under R700.

I rode down to Norwood quickly realizing, as the cool air combined with warm sweat, how much I missed riding. A whole different experience from NOLA flats, but the same rush. I love it.

I’ll fill in on Norwood later…or better yet just add a link.

I do need to get used to hills, but did decently on the way back.

Schwinnie Mandela…this one’s for you 🙂