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An Oasis of Sanity

by on September 23, 2013

It is a precious thing that has the ability to ground us in reality and to provide the kind of normalcy that re-establishes routines.  That is cycling for me.

Each ride has a rhythm.

It starts with solitude and patience.  I pull out of my driveway, making sure the lights are all on and I’m ready to go.  I reach the end of my street and often must wait for the traffic to pass by.  This patient waiting helps slow the morning down.  I wait until it is clear, then turn onto the 4 lane divided highway, riding the left shoulder for a quarter of a mile to the traffic light.  I’m alert and curious.  Alert for traffic.  Curious as to whether or not I’ll make the light, have to stop, or decide to cross against the red left turn arrow.  As soon as the traffic light has been negotiated, I’m riding solo in the dark for the next 10-15 minutes.  It is now when I usually encounter wildlife.  A couple of mornings ago it was a fox loping ahead of me for about 50 yards.  This morning it was a small raccoon that challenged me for possession of the trail.  I prevailed.

I’m usually the first to arrive at the Rusty Bridge for the last few minutes of solitude.  I welcome the other riders and the conversations begin immediately.  I’m amazed at how we recognize one another in the dark by the light patterns accompanied by the way the bike moves under the rider.  This morning there were 4 of us.  We move along the well-established route, calling out traffic as it appears and silently reminding one another of the major potholes with a simple gesture.  At some point along the ride, we switch “partners” without comment.  It allows new conversations.  No one says, “let’s go faster/let’s slow down”.  We simply adjust to the whim of the group again without comment.  Sometimes we are single file.  Sometimes we are doubled.  Rarely are we three abreast … but it happens.

Near the end of the group part of the ride we have riders splitting off for home.  We say our farewells, and each of us has opportunity to close the ride with a little more solitude.  My route home has some quiet trail riding ending with attentive highway riding.  I also end with a hill which gives me the opportunity to either settle into a steady climb or sprint home.  Sometimes, like this morning, I start with a sprint then decide to back off and ease my way up the hill.

This routine sets the mood for the day, and grounds me.  I know of no better start to the day.

This Ride: 21.1 miles
Malaria Campaign: 2,028.3 miles
Funds Pledged: $1,099.66
Contributed in support: $2,453.60

Total = $3,553.26

From → Cycling

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