The moment I opened the door I new that it had rained last night. As predicted by the forecaster, the precipitation would cease in the early AM hours. The narrative went on to describe a day of dark skies and chilly winds.
It felt warm air as I crept down the stairs and got excited for the day. It’s hard to be silent in cycling shoes but I did my best. My dog Buddy was sleeping in the back of the truck enjoying the morning sun and if he saw me riding away he would be unhappy. He can’t go along any more but I see no reason to rub it in his face.
My shoes connected to the pedals with a loud click and I gently rolled down the sidewalk and spun away. Peak days just passed and there are more leaves on the ground but after a rain they lay flat and don’t make a sound.
The air was dry and seemed to be warmed by the sun that came in from a low angle, blasting me from behind each house I passed like a kid with a squirt gun and a cowboy hat. I didn’t feel any cold seeping in and my skin didn’t tingle so I dressed right. It was time to settle in and pedal.
I gained speed as I descended into the village and sped through town. A car followed behind me from a distance as I pedaled to the chime of the bells on St. Charles church. I made a right and crossed into New Hampshire across the steel bridge.
I love to let my brain out to play when I ride my bike. There aren’t any rules about what I should be thinking like most times and if I an idea is going to happen at an unexpected moment, I had better leave the faucet on.
I met up with Russ and we headed east toward Acworth like most of the rides where Russ chooses the route. I had been slowed by a cold for the past couple of weeks so my ambition was low.
Fall mountain to my left stands like a Katana against the winds that flow down the river. Divided they pick up speed and usher us down the road. As I pedaled along I wondered how It would feel to simply miss the experience all together. Like I had never ridden a bike for a single mile.
We headed up Allen road past the covered bridge I had seen dozens of times but I stopped and took a photo. I like to take pictures but this time of year is difficult to photograph with the odd lighting. The leaves glowing on the trees seem to rob the light from the sky to power their parting act. The wind picked up and carried the message also that things were changing.
I thought about the fall as an end of something. Like a mile stone rather than a point on a circuit.
We stopped for a rest at the side of the road and met a fellow cyclist with a twenty year head start. It didn’t take me long to start thinking about my own future and I wondered if the bike would always be the milestone it has been in my life. It’s funny to think about wheels and pedals that way but it’s true. Bikes are something I like about people.
It’s hard to imagine what the days after will bring but you can see what I did while you were away.