"There's never enough time to do
all the nothing you want."
I decide on the Surly again because I really am not sure what I am going to do or where I will end up riding. The Surly gives me the freedom to pick gravel if it presents itself, and while it is heavier and slower than my Lynsky, it will also serve quite well for a century ride if that is my decision.
Yesterday I rode with an old friend, Dick Rauh, who is (yeah) starting to ride again. It seems years since I have seen him, and it probably has been well over a year, but he still looks the same to me. I grin as we both wore our red LBC captain jerseys.
We ride and laugh about past rides: the time he brought a heavy, beater bike to my Christmas Century and had to be dragged in, the time he sat in a fire ant nest at Mountain Home, and that followed by a broken seat post during a brevet with Steve, Dave, and I telling him he was strong enough to stand the whole way. (and he did until it was fixed). And while the distance is hard on him, particularly with the climb out of Bethlehem, he does well, and I know it will be no time before he can ride centuries again if he decides to do so. It is good to catch up, to hear that he and his wife and his daughters are doing well.
And so, because of riding yesterday and chores around the house that need doing, I am not sure how far I will ride but will just decide as I go. It is a lovely ride, a mix of gravel roads and of paved roads. When I can, I pick a road I am not very familiar with or have never ridden. The Surly gives me more freedom to do that. I hit a closed road sign and smile. It is Sunday so they won't be working. I am able to cross the newly paved bridge and wind my way past the bull dozer they have blocking the way.
At one point, I become a bit frightened when a red truck, rusted and dented, slows, turns and comes back, then turns again. The truck pulls ahead and stops and I stop my bike. A man gets out and walks to the side of the road, and I spend a moment deciding whether to turn around or ride past. The recent story about the couple who broke into a home and tortured the couple has me spooked. I decide to go forward as there are no houses behind me for miles and I am on rather rough gravel. Perhaps there are people who live just beyond the next bend. Regardless, there will be no sprinting on this pavement. I pull to the wrong side of the road as I pass and the man smiles and waves as he stands next to a creek. I wave back, relieved that he seems harmless, just stopping to look at the creek that rushes by.
I come across a rafter of wild turkeys, probably 15 to 20, but they are gone before I can pull out my camera. A shadow appears on the pavement in front of me, a buzzard flying overhead. I smile thinking of my husband telling me about a buzzard who nested in a chimney at the plant. He said they vomit to protect themselves and their nests, and the vomit is particularly pungent with their diet of decaying road kill.
I decide to head home and not do an entire century today, to clean and have my house ready for another week of getting up and going to work. Will I still treasure these days as much when they are all mine? My cousin said that since he retired, he has come to begrudge anything or anyone that demands his time, and I remember my husband being much the same. So much time spent in doctor's offices. If there is a reason to be glad that he passed when he did, it is the new law where he would have had to go back two to three times weekly for his pain medication, unless the law provides an exception for those who are chronically ill. I know we need rules, but sometimes it seems we are trying to play God and deny free will. I know he hated sitting in those offices, the waiting, the futility of his hope to feel well again, if only for a day. There is just so much that I don't understand, but then I have never been the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I do understand that I am happy here on a warm summer day on my bike, and I will miss the green and the warmth when winter knocks at the door so I soak it up as much as I can.
Yeah, today I was doing nothing, and as Mr. Watts noted, there is never enough time to do all the nothing I want.