An Evening Ride

The choice: I just finished a long day of work. Do I take a nap or a bike ride?

I fill my water bottle, grab my helmet, and head off on the bike. Just a half-hour cruise around the neighborhood, feeling the air around me as I make a light wind, coasting down a smooth black runway, taking wide turns on my usual path. I forget to downshift and stomp on the pedals up the hill as I greet the black lab that always bounces after me from behind his fence. The route is so worn, I lose myself in the rhythm of pumping legs, with a light touch on the handlebar to guide my bike to and fro, bending straight roads into a meandering journey. I cruise through streets lined with trees, wave at babies toddling in yards, smell the pungent pot smell by the popular neighborhood skate park, and pass a stately tall black terrier out on a walk twice.

While on my ride, the sky darkened, the wind picked up, swirling leaves around me with a slight coolness. It was late Summer when I left home, but Fall when I returned. I don’t remember a single thought from my bike ride; anything profound stayed with the bike or was carried away in the cool edge of the wind. I am not someone who just likes biking, I am someone who is in love with biking — feeling the first moments of motion, carrying forward a mind wiped blank by the movement, and a body willing to lay it out. Love is cruel. I’ve the concussion and scars to prove it.

Safely home now, refreshed from the ride, planning something bigger soon. Perhaps it is time to get the road bike out again…

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