Thick gray clouds blanketed the sky. Still, today was mild for this time of year, with the temperature rising to 45F (8C). Even after a week of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, as I experienced in Florida, I would have gone riding on a day like today.
But I didn't. Why?
Well, believe it or not, there was something I felt I simply had to do. If you followed the news today, you probably know what I'm about to tell you: I marched in Manhattan.
To tell you the truth, I spent more time standing than marching. A few hundred thousand other people can say the same: At times, we were literally standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
I should have known how crowded the streets would be when I rode across the 59th Street/Queensborough Bridge and, as soon as I descended the ramp on the Manhattan side, I could ride no further.
Even though there seemed to be no room even for another flyer or sign on the Manhattan side, I found a signpost on which I was able to lock my LeTour. I returned, hours later, to unlock and ride it back over the bridge.
Some might say that I wasted my time, that such a march "won't change anything". Of course, it won't nullify the result of the elections. But it did bring together people who feel the same way: that the result of this election does not represent them, does not represent us.
Why was it important for us to come together? We--most of us, anyway, I suspect--are angry about that the Orange Man was inaugurated yesterday. We were not, however, acting upon our rage: doing so would have brought us down to the level of his campaign and the hatred it manifested. I realized as much when I saw how respectful, even nice, marchers were toward each other. Each of us, I think, was happy that the other marchers were there, whatever their reasons or motivations. Many of us are "outsiders" or "minorities" of one kind or another; just about everyone else, I suspect, loves or is loved by someone who fits those descriptions. Because we were there, together, we were not alienated, and the message behind our signs and shouts is that we will not allow ourselves to be alienated by the powers that are seizing control.
Tomorrow, I hear, will be like today, weather-wise--at least until mid-afternoon. Perhaps I will ride. But I will not regret that today I could ride over the bridge a mile from my apartment, and no further. There is still further to go. I can still go further.