"Hello darkness my old friend"
Simon and Garfunkel
Originally I intend to ride a century today. It is not the prediction for afternoon rain that stops me, but the wind prediction. I just am not yet ready to face 20 mile per hour winds. Later in the fall, yes, but not today. I have ridden in wind where it has been all I can do to remain upright, and I have a great respect for the wind. I need to build up to it, to the yielding that it requires of me as we make our peace with each other and I accept that rides will be more difficult and take much more time than they might otherwise require. That they will be a test of fortitude without the pleasure that a meandering, easy ride brings, but leaving a sense of satisfaction for a job well done that easy rides do not. Still, I slip out into the darkness clad only in jersey, reflective vest, and shorts despite it being October. For while I have chosen not to ride 100 miles, I will ride.
As always, I ask myself why I don't ride more when it is dark outside and lights are needed. It is only when I commute by bicycle or when I ride a brevet that I seem to do so, but I love the way the night embraces me, wraps her arms around me, welcoming me as she transforms my world, the way most houses are dark and the roads deserted. I love being able to step out the door in shorts and jersey and to be a bit cool, but not uncomfortable and I am glad I did not waste this opportunity. .I love the sounds of the night creatures, some which I can identify and others which I cannot, rustling through the brush, toying with my imagination. I love the sound the wind makes as she moans through the dry, corn that stands ready to be harvested. Sometimes it is as if I am the only person stirring in the world and there is truly peace. The moon, still quite full, is not yet ready to yield to the approaching light when I arrive at my destination. It has been a rather short ride, but beautiful, dream like. And I am glad to be alive and on a bicycle.