Archive | February 2013

dry and wet

There’s something about biking in the rain. Feeling the power of the elements; wind-driven rain, clatter of hail on the helmet, surface water tugging the wheels, but persisting through to the destination. In the case of lightning, the wiser choice is to seek shelter. Huddle under a bridge or in a 7-11. The electric potential of lightning can run to the millions of volts.
My companion and I, lost in ecstasy and spurred on by dog-urgency, rode on. Arriving home, we are glad to be alive.

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I was watching her rear wheel. The sensation was not so much of falling as of the ground coming up to meet me. Or hitting a wall. I hurtled forward propelled into a wall of soft grass.
Proprioception depends on having a horizon. For that moment, the wheel, the sidewalk, the lawn, became my horizon. And like an errant gyroscope, my brain miscalculated the whole equation. I was a toddler without my training wheels.
Now I’m a center fielder with a grass stain on my pants from a diving catch. Brush myself off, survey the field, and get in position for the next play.

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bicycle diaries 2012, day 276

Early autumn on the prairie; still green, now awash in amber, gold, sienna, and sepia tones. Headed into the northeast wind — windward out, leeward in — taking me through Herrick lake preserve. Pilot black snake lying in the middle of the crushed limestone path, absorbing his preferred infrared band of the warm October sun. Through the horse tunnel into Danada, I arrive at “Wheaton overlook,” a modest hill above Rice Lake with a wide view of its indigo surface and the shops and houses beyond. On the way back the hill now looms as a singular challenge: flex the quads, gear down, now recruit the abdominals, breathe. Retrace my path then re-enter the late afternoon traffic crush. With an assist from the brisk wind at my back, I achieve a respectable 22 mph until I am able to turn off onto a residential street and home to enjoy an endorphin cocktail.