Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

15 April 2017

A Good Friday

Yesterday was Good Friday.  In all of the time I was in Catholic school, no one ever explained why it was called "Good."  I mean, if the person after whom the religion was named was executed on that day, what could be so good about that?

I was reminded of that while I was teaching Dante's Inferno this semester.  While it's usually read as a stand-alone book, it's really part of a trilogy--along with his Purgatorio and Paradiso--called the Commedia Divina.  Yes, the Divine Comedy.  Of course, students asked what was funny about it.  I explained that in ancient drama and epic poetry, a comedy is basically anything that isn't a tragedy.  Dante's trilogy proceeds from Hell to Purgatory to Heaven, which is a "happy" ending, if you will--which is what makes his work a "comedy."

I think that, in a similar way, the word "good" meant anything that had a felicitous conclusion.  According to Christian beliefs, the persecution and murder of Christ was "good" because it culminated in his resurrection.

Anyway, yesterday was a good day--in the sense most of us use that term today--because it was sunny and bright, if a bit breezy and cool.  So, I went for another coastal ride, this time to the Rockaways and, from there, to Breezy Point, Coney Island and Hipster Hook.  

I saw a lot of families, particularly Hasidic Jewish ones, on the boardwalks.  The kids ran, jumped rope and played all the games kids play, while their parents chatted and sometimes joined their kids.  As it happens, Passover is celebrated this week.

Anyway, I expected to see more cyclists than I did.  Maybe some didn't want to deal with the wind.  In any event, all of the action was on the boardwalk because the water is still too cold--about 8C (45F)--to swim.  Sometimes, on days like yesterday, one sees wet-suited surfers in the water.  Today I didn't see any.

I'm not complaining.  I had the best of both worlds:  I did a ride I've done many times before, and it felt great.  And, as I'd eaten only a croissant before riding, I worked up an appetite.  So the salsa (homemade) and chips I brought for my "picnic" sure tasted good.

I hope to have some more weather like I had yesterday before I go back to work next week! 

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