On the Road
Summer arrived early this year. By that I mean summer cart-wheeled, pom-poms twirling, smack dab into winter’s rump. Three months early. Caught me (everyone) by surprise. We mid-westerners rubbed our eyes in disbelief. Gob-smacked. Laughter and gaiety ensued. Gawd! She’s so magnificent.
What is one to do but saddle up and revel?
And that is what I did. Pulled the jersey from the hanger. Squeezed into lycra shorts (fitting a bit more snug than I remembered), donned helmet and gloves, pumped up the tires and ventured forth on bewildered legs.
I hadn’t planned on pushing pedals in early March. Hadn’t planned on venturing farther into the hinterlands by April’s end than I had by mid-July of last year. I rode amazed. Pedaled slightly daft. Spinned my wheels through landscapes each and all waking astonished.
Never experienced anything near like this. Mouth agape, I swallowed way too many insects every bit as disoriented as I. Nature had erupted in an orgy of buds and blossoms. Almost overnight, my world morphed to fragrant green.
I was deafened by the chorus frogs/spring peepers. Hawks dotted the skies, soaring and cavorting. Redwing blackbirds rushed to stake their claims. Though farm fields remained dusty brown, they hummed with anticipation. Livestock felt it, too. They didn’t graze complacently. Noses raised to Heaven, they twitched their tails in glee.
It’s been surreal, this bacchanalia. I asked more of my muscles than prudence cautioned. I couldn’t help myself. I knew there would be a price to pay. But I also knew this opportunity couldn’t last. Carpe diem. There would be cold days still. Soon. Nothing this amazing can persist. I would rest when the cool rains came.
I’ve ridden long and hard. All in the name of Amazement. I sport the crazy tan lines of a cyclist: pale forehead, tanned cheeks, vanilla thighs, chocolate knees, white feet, white palms and dark fingertips. I’ve been buffeted by gusty winds, blinded by unseasonable sweat. All in the name of Pleasure. I even found myself pedaling through a dense cloud of honey bees. Bees bounced off my face and helmet, bees bounced off my arms and legs. Bees clung to me and my front fork. It’s been a crazy season. Not a single sting.
I ended my last ride yesterday with a nasty crash. I hadn’t realized how much I had exhausted my legs on the longest ride of this utterly improbable season. Legs cramping, I failed to disengage from pedals when a car roared forward in front of me. I fell hard to ground, right hip bearing the brunt. Bruised and bleeding, hip screaming, I soberly rose, saddled up, pedaled slowly home.
I didn’t cry. No need for tears.
I've been happy.
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