Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

19 November 2016

Another Ride: Another View Of The Season

Today was almost as unseasonably warm as yesterday was.  Somehow, though, it looked more like a day of this time of year, which can't be called "fall" because almost everything that is supposed to fall has already fallen.  The season is tipping toward winter.  The sky reflected it.

Yesterday, I saw lots of bare trees and sunshine.  Today, though, a curtain of thick gray clouds filled the sky and the air with the kind of shadowy light that induces a "long winter's nap".  And the bay and ocean, even during high tide, seemed as listless, almost as drowsy, as the sky they reflected.

Oddly, though, that light and air energized me.  I felt as full of verve, and my bike felt as lively under me, as on yesterday's ride.  Perhaps feeling good was making me feel good:  Even after a 140 kilometer (85 mile) ride that included some hills and a headwind most of the way to Connecticut on yesterday's ride--and cleaning my apartment afterward-- I felt as if I could have ridden forever.  

I didn't do that.  I did, however, ride 105 kilometers (65 miles) on Tosca, my Mercian fixed-gear bike.  Granted, it was a flat ride.  But I was riding into a stiffer headwind on my way out--to Point Lookout--than I encountered yesterday.  That meant, of course, that my tailwind was also stronger on my way home.

Today I encountered almost no traffic for long stretches of Beach Channel and the Rockaway Peninsula and the south shore of Nassau County.  Part of the reason for that, of course, is that people aren't going to the beach.  But it seemed that even fishermen and surfers stayed home today.  And, even along the commercial strips of Cross Bay Boulevard and by the mini-mall in Long Beach, I didn't see as many motorized vehicles as I would expect to see on a Saturday.  Maybe people haven't begun their holiday shopping.  

Not that I minded seeing so little traffic, of course.  Or even the gray skies:  It framed both the bare trees and the bushes still sprouting their flowers and fruits with a kind of austere beauty different from what yesterday's clear skies and sunshine highlighted.  

Two days, two rides that made me happy.  On two different bikes through two different kinds of landscapes.  Autumn might be falling into winter--and we've had the worst election I can remember--but I am still blessed.

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