01 November 2010
Today's the first of November.
This is the month that separates the committed cyclists from the rest. People who pedal once or twice around the park every other weekend usually call it a season about now. At least, that's what they seem to do in Northern Hemisphere locales that have four discernible seasons.
Yesterday I noticed there were fewer cyclists on the roads and Greenway than there've been on most Sundays during the past few months. That isn't too surprising: It was a chilly, windy day, though it was lovely, if in a rather austere way.
Although it was Halloween--the last day of October--in cycling terms, it was more of a November day. That, for me was part of what I enjoyed about cycling yesterday.
Of course, no month is more beautiful than October. Perhaps May or June could be said to be as lovely, if in entirely different ways from the month that just passed. Cycling--or doing nearly anything else outdoors--in October is a feast for the senses.
On the other hand, November grows grayer and more wizened as it proceeds. Colors fade into shades of ashes and as trees are stripped of their leaves, their branches grow darker and splinter. Somehow, though, they endure like the coats the old and the poor wear through another season.
Someone who continues cycling this week, this month, will probably continue to some time just before Christmas. And anyone who continues cycling after that will probably still be on his or her bike in February.
By then, even they--we-- will be ready for another season, having cycled forward from the light of the gray November tableau.