Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

02 August 2014

When The Rain Held Out For Time



I am not a shadow; I am not cycling among shadows. There are no shadows:  A couple crosses from a dark canyon of shutters and silence into a delta spreading from the streaming white current of the streetlight and sprayed by a flashing traffic signal.  

The couple crosses the intersection, their bodies making slight bobs with each step.  They look younger, much younger, than I am, but carry with them ages of stone, ages of fire, far older than the bricks and shingles and window panes that line these streets.  

Perhaps they will live the rest of their lives, and their children theirs, on these streets in which the flow of time stops for their history, their eternity, every Friday night.  Or, perhaps, when the streams of sodium vapor light and steel will swell, or the glow of neon will turn the brick houses into the walls of an inferno, and they will leave as, perhaps, their grandparents did from some other place where a cyclist who wasn’t one of them rode through a deserted intersection—or stopped—as they crossed.

They have, probably, another block or two to walk before they reach they reach their parents’ or grandparents’ or friends’ homes—or shul.  I have about another hour of riding ahead of me before I come to my apartment, and Max and Marley.  I hope the rain will hold out until then; it has for most of the afternoon and evening, and this night, for which it was promised.  Even if it doesn’t, I wouldn’t care; in fact, I might even wend my way through more of these streets.

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As it happened, I did ride up one of those one-way street, turned at an avenue, descended another one=way street, and continued along that self-imposed maze for a couple more kilometers than I would’ve ridden otherwise.  Although the night was humid, the air felt more like the kind of pleasant spray you feel on your skin when you stand by the ocean: It was somewhat cool for this time of year.  

I arrived at my apartment dry.  The rain held out, not only for my ride home, but for the ballgame—the Brooklyn Cyclones vs. the Auburn Doubledays—to which I rode, in Coney Island.  Thirty-some-odd kilometers there, a few more than that back.  The Cyclones, in spite of making four errors, won the game in the last at-bat.  As the saying goes, a good time was had by all.

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