Cold and clear!
Life has been busy. This will be a short post. Some of you will be deeply grateful.
It is perfect for riding. At least for winter. The sun smiled all day. A cold smile. A smile, nonetheless. It is below freezing. Tonight the low is predicted to be 15F. Drivers see me now. I see them look twice. One young man was using his cell phone. He looked, and then looked again. His eyes widened. I could see his lips move. I imagine the person on the other end. The young man saying "You won't believe what I just saw!" I was thinking of earlier. An early morning stop was made. A man asked about the bike. He is a rider. A fair weather rider, it seems. These are his words: "You are a tougher man than me. When the temperature gets below 50 I wig out".
There it comes. My smile. It is not really meant to be friendly. Rather, the creature inside smiles. The need to be "different". Cut of sterner cloth than most. I am working on my bias. Riding allows us expression. We must all do what we are moved to do. There is room for all. Yet I am proud to be doing what few others care to. ( or dare to ) I find his comment deeply satisfying.
At work I park across the street. We are in an industrial park. I have deemed this the safest place to park. Big trucks move down this street. This spot is between two driveways. Trucks come an go from them. My spot is out of the way of the trucks. Some drivers are not as good as others. There have been accidents. There are often two large pick-ups parked here. They leave room between them. It is shelter for the bike. I suspect the bike taunts the trucks at times. A Greyhound between two Saint Bernards. One day I fear the trucks may have their revenge. During the day there has been water in the gutter. A pipe was replaced. This is the overflow. When I leave work the water has frozen. For a while there is ice stuck to the rear tire.
Time pressure keeps me to the interstate. It is almost a sin to waste this run. Skipping my back roads is like missing church. Sadly, it is necesary. I am late leaving the office. I slide over onto my off-ramp. The visor is pulled up. It is good to breathe the cold air. The smell of fuel hits me. My nose tells me of danger. There is a large diesel swath on the ramp. Riding a bike tunes us into our world. We are more alive. It is because we experience things more fully. It is that which makes us more alive that keeps us alive. The bikes enables us to "tune in". Tuning in gives us clues. The clues keep us alive. It is a circle of life. A circle of success.
Tomorrow I shall ride again. There is a threat of snow. It does not matter. Brave words these may be. It is a fine line between challenge and stupidity. Perhaps the weather Gods may win. Forty four miles of snow. A seven hundred pound bike. The formula will need worked out. My own dear Katie has turned against me. Her words are angry. The anger hides great worry. I am told that I am on my own. She will not brave the ice to come to a hospital far away. I wish to reassure her. I care for her. On the other hand, I need the challenge. I have my own reasons. I only hope to have the wisdom not to cross the fine line.