Today I just barely got on my bike: About a mile to the barbecue at Millie's house, and a bit more coming home. I surely consumed many times the number of calories I burned up today. But, hey, isn't that what barbecues are for?
And they had a cake for my birthday:
Actually, all of those colors were on a plastic piece that covered the cake. Underneath, everything was chocolate: creamy cocoa frosting over a dark devil's food cake.
It's not the sort of food one finds at training tables. Then again, although I'm working at getting myself into better shape, I'm not training for anything: I simply want cycling and better conditioning to be facts of my life. A wise old philosopher once told me, "Life ain't no rehearsal." I rode yesterday; I will ride again; I have no goal (at least as a cyclist) but to ride my bike again.
Plus, I was happy to be with Millie and John, their kids and grandkids, and Millie's friend Catherine, again. This day last year marked the first time since I moved to Queens that I didn't spend the Fourth with them. Millie decided not to have the barbecue because I couldn't make it. She saw me off that day when I was leaving for Trinidad.
That day, I knew I wouldn't be cycling again for a long time. My mother said, only half-jokingly, that she knew I really wanted to go for the operation because I was willing to give up, in essence, a season of cycling for it. But I knew that I wasn't so much giving up a season of cycling as I was embarking on a journey. Even the riders of the Tour de France have to get off their bikes sometimes; I knew--or at least hoped--that when I got back on mine, I would be on the tour, if you will, that only I could take. At least some of it would be on my bicycle, I believed.
After eating barbecued chicken, shish kebabs, corn and a few other things one might expect to consume at a barbecue, I took the long way home. I still haven't mastered the fine art of taking photos while on the bike. But, here is a shot I took just outside Rainey Park, which is on the East River:
Perhaps one day I'll get it right. Until then, it's a journey and I'm on it. At least today's segment, as short as it was, fulfilled me: I was happy to go where I went and happy to return.