|7:30p, 75°, first ride
||[Apr. 11th, 2002|08:38 pm]
|||||ELP - Pirates||]|
I felt sick and tired leaving the office today, but a warm breeze played with my hair as we walked out the door. The breakover has arrived and spring weather is here. Jeff put the top down on the Beemer. The sunshine made me sleepy and calm. I got home, ate dinner, sat down at the puter (no Ferrett tonight--off in Ann Arbor).
The sun glare on the screen made me squint. Sunset out the western window. I thought about my bike.
Too late to ride, really. Sun is moving toward the horizon, and twilight is pretty brief. I should wait, I decided as I walked out to the garage.
The front tire was really flat. Well, definitely want to take care of that before Saturday! There's a bike shop only half a mile or so away. I put on my helmet and climbed aboard and cruised delicately on that flat tire, easing over curbs and watching for rough sidewalk. By the time I got there the sun was definitely sinking below the horizon. As I pressed the air spigot against the stem I realized that I needed to go right back home. But even as I said it, I knew that when I got back on the bike I would be turning right instead of left. Rode down through the little shopping district, past scents and sights that I miss in the car. Turned up past the grocery and rode along the rim of the canyon. (Even I was not foolish enough to venture down there in the gathering gloom when raccoons and possums waddle forth. It's not an Anya-like terror of lagomorphs or rodentia, but they can be hard to spot and hitting one would be disastrous all around.)
Got past the part with the view and into the part with the traffic. From here there are two barriers to my return home: the canyon and I-90. I could just ride with traffic and come around, but where's the fun in that? I turn onto a neighborhood street that doesn't have a "No outlet" sign.
When I was in junior high school I used to miss the bus on purpose so I could make the 4-mile walk home down the increasingly narrow and wild back alleys of 8th Street. I was pretty much guaranteed at least one adrenaline-pumping encounter with a dog, but I braved it anyway. The final section of alleyway was an almost vertical cliff with a steep and slippery dirt trail. The whole four mile walk was about scrambling down that trail.
So the fact that I love finding he back way into things, the back road method of getting somewhere, means that my weaving through school parking lots and walkways behind stores was the best part of the ride. It was only an hour, but it changed the whole day.