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Monday, January 18, 2010

Dreary Winter Days

Despite the weather predication for temperatures in the forties and sun, I could tell as the sun came up that he would have some work to do if this was going to happen. The fog was so thick and gray that the roads that were dry the night before were wet. I had planned to ride a century today based on the prediction, but the intense fog made me rethink that idea. It didn't help that I had just read an article about two Amish teenagers that were killed yesterday when a car did not see their buggy because of the fog. Indeed, the intersection where it happened, Liberty and Pixley Knobs, was one I had intended to ride today as I am working on another century route. This had been greatly impeded by my inability to transfer my Garmin Mapsource to my new computer. Grrr. Deciding to err on the side of living to ride Saturday and have company, I decided to wait and head out later.

When I finally go out, I find that the fog has coated part of the roads with ice, as if they were glazed. I think about turning back, but I had decided that since I wouldn't get a century in, I would go to the forestry to get my friend, Davy, the pictures he wanted. I will just ride extra carefully. Besides, I kept telling myself that the sun would come out and it would warm up. Meanwhile I am kicking myself for not riding yesterday when it was warmer and the weather forecast was once again, surprise, wrong. The 100 per cent chance of rain yesterday ended up being about 15 minutes worth of a light drizzle.

Once I get used to the slow pace, I am glad that I decided to ride here. The forestry is empty of the sights and sounds of summer. Everything is a study of gray and brown. I pass a man walking his dog. It is not leashed, but it obviously is well trained as it does not chase me. It is a beautiful dog, one of my favorites, a golden retriever. I will think of this dog later when I ride by Shelly's parents home and Shelly's childhood dog no longer barks at me as if I had ill intentions. Sadly, I wonder if they will get another dog because there comes a time when you have to wonder if you will outlive your pet, and if you do, what will become of him/her. I know they are growing old. It makes me think of how he would come by in his truck when I was running through the rain always wanting to give me a lift home. Even those few years ago he was wizened and stooped, but his kindness showed in his eyes and the way they crinkled when he grinned. While there are things that bother me about having a pet, like wearing clothes with hair all over them, the pets I have loved have enriched my life immeasurably. I smile thinking of my Pupik and how when I first moved in with my husband, he would not let him come down the hall to the bedroom.

Soon I am at the bottom of the fire tower hill. I know there is no way I am climbing the hill today. It is scary enough to come back down when the roads are dry. When the roads are wet, you are asking for a fall, and a fall at an incredibly fast pace. I get off my bike and take photographs of the first of the hill from different angles hoping that it can bring Davy some pleasure remembering when he could climb like the wind leaving the others behind.

On the way home, I find I am eager to get back to the house and fall into its warm embrace. For some reason, while I have enjoyed the ride, I am ready for it to end. I decide I will go back out if the sun comes out, but otherwise will do some chores. Lord knows it needs it. My bike could use a good bath as well.

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