Wednesday, July 15, 2009

hieroglyphics among other things

So I set out last Thursday on a fantastic road trip. I left home with Harriet (Ken's mom). Our trip started in Boston where Harriet relaxed for awhile and I got in an exciting ride with Steve. Afterwards we had a very lovely dinner with both Steve and Ellen (and a visit with Bruno too).

My relationship with Steve is an interesting one, we are both HS Ceramics teachers and we both have used our bikes as a means to raise awareness and money for charity. We were introduced to each other a few years ago by a mutual dear friend who thought we would enjoy talking shop. Steve has this way of making you feel as if the bike is as essential as life itself. I do understand this completely, its just lately my bike and I have not really been friends. It seems that I tend to hold grudges, and the grudge that ensued after being tossed off my bike by a set of RR tracks seems to be as deep as the scars that the pavement left. Steve has been trying to get me to work through this since last November, 12 weeks after my concussion, the reminders that my bike and head were in desperate need of attention kept coming, and as soon as spring hit, any reason I needed to stop by to see them became a reason to get on the bike. That first ride was full of strobing light through the trees, which was so uncomfortable. The second ride I was tortured by the side-effects of prednisone. It has always been something. This time, I felt pretty good on the bike for once. As we made our way back towards home, a lady in an SUV decides to pull out on our right without seeing us. We almost T-boned her as we hurled along, skidding along the pavement having to cross into the oncoming lane to fully avoid hitting her. My life on my bike, antics and all seemed to be reborn. I had a story for that ride at least. As I left Steve and Ellen that night I was asked if I would use my bike in Maine? Actually, I was strongly encouraged to.

My weekend had me on the bike once, a nice 25 mile, somewhat hilly pre-breakfast ride. I marveled at how little traffic there was at 7AM and how everyone who passed me waved as if I was some long lost friend and they hadn't seen me in years. There was this one lady who was working in her garden who seemed a bit put off that I didn't say hello as I buzzed by her down this long steep hill. On my return I was sure to say hello, only she didn't hear me coming, and I scared her out of her skin. Then there was this man who was walking along the road on the other side, who also bid this unnerved gardener a good day in the midst of my apologies. It was so sad, and so funny, the woman had just barely recovered from the start I had given her only to be plummeted back into near hysteria. I found myself so intrigued by this that I chuckled all the way back to the Coveside Inn. That 25 miles took me down roads that I wouldn't have had the chance to explore otherwise. I saw a few osprey, a fox and the biggest RABBIT I have ever seen in my life, it was the size of a small dog, and way bigger than the fox. This was a great start to a beautiful reunion with a sense of freedom I forgot about.

Since returning I have been on my bike everyday. No real stories to tell. but no animosity either. I was out with Justin and Andy Mac yesterday (Ah to be 21). It was my 85 day (it doesn't matter what gear you push as long as there is a cadence of 85 or better). I was absolutely chasing them most of the time, but there was that one time, when we made the turn up Delancey, and we passed this man who was my age on his bike taking a break on the side of the road, right before THE HILL. Wait a minute, he had passed us early in the ride, pedaling a nice ride and living up to it... So we continue on up the hill and he hops on his bike giving chase, and I realize that my 85 is slowly and steadily pulling away from him, and though Justin and Andy drop me I was not being passed by the guy on the carbon FELT. As we cruised through North Salem, there were these symbols on the road that were left by the electric company. My mind starts to wonder and ends up at focusing on this Art History class I took once, called Sexuality in Ancient Art. This class was the study of pornography in ancient Egypt. Interesting, those pole symbols left by the utility guys look a bit like the hieroglyphics that I studied in that class. Is the road trying to tell me something about my hesitancy to get engrossed and consumed by my ride? Am I starting to fall for that sleek black and grey carbon machine? I am in Toga this morning, and last I looked the car was loaded with an alternate method of transportation which I plan on using several times in my tenure here. I guess this story will have a sequel.

To find out more about Steve's Charity endeavors...

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