Sunday, February 17, 2008

First bicycle ride of the year

"...we are not endowed with real life, and all that seems most real about us is but the thinnest substance of a dream - till the heart be touched. That touch creates us." --Nathaniel Hawthorne, from his notebooks

First bicycle ride of the year yesterday. Mustard flowering, pine smells wafting, birds blue. San Pablo Dam Road to Bear Creek Road (The Bears) to Alhambra Valley Road (looks like the way wild west ~100 years ago) to Castro Ranch Road to San Pablo Dam Road, full circle. Road late in the day, shadows grew long, felt my spirits grow with them, joyous whooping in the canyons, echoes & grins followed along. Bicycle became invisible, a part of me, turned riding to flying, flying ecstasy inches above blood hungry asphalt. Flew by a charming brown horse so close I could have kissed her, and then, while physically embracing a sharp rural curve, did kiss her, in the bright sun comfort of my mischievous mind. Still more altitude to attack, legs screamed for mercy, burned, ached, threatened to stop revolution, but I flogged them straight to the gasping brink of their limits, a salt skilled pain/play partner having an excellent afternoon. A tolerance, if not a love, for pain goes for many a switchback bicycle mile. Now that that 90 minutes in the saddle has given up the ghost, the phrase "Let's do it again, do it again." sings itself in drunken laughter rounds to all that will listen. Ride with passion.

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