It’s been a busy few weeks. Lots of excitement in the life department has left little energy/effort for biking. These rides to and from work have been my saving grace, allowing me to decompress my life before working and then decompress my work before living again. While it may be hard to believe that riding a short 5-6 miles will allow one to re-center, it is working for me.
A friend ridding across America on a bike, www.abbiacrossamerica.wordpress.com , once told me of the zen-like state one gets after being on the open road. She described “riding the line” for hours and hours. The introspection and days of just having one person to talk to, yourself, leads for pretty good therapy. Even with my now 30min commute, I can see what she meant.
Lots of sunshine during the day dried the roads to the point where tires will once again adhere to the ground around corners. Riding home, I started thinking about life again instead of the cadence, pace and feel of the road. Looks like the long way home again.
“The long way home” consists of pedaling farther and farther south of home until my mind quiets and then heading back. It’s a route I’ve taken many times for its car-free roads and long climbs. The only caveat is a five way intersection at the bottom of a hill coming back into town. The downhill street (the one I’m riding on) has the right away, but that’s not always how it works.
Deep in thought and halfway to finding the secret to world peace, I feel the pace and speed picking up as I descend down the last hill. I snap to and take in the situation; car-free on three of the five intersections, with one car stopped at the right stop sign. I swivel my Light&Motion 500 lumen light towards them as I approach the intersection. They wait at their sign, I continue down my stop-sign-free entry into the intersection. It is at this point that they decide to go, pulling right into my path.
“Oh boy,” is all I manage to squeak out as I try my best to stop my bike from becoming a part of the car. Body weight shifts back, butt hunkers down and brakes engage. Sliding towards the car, I lean so hard right that my leg nails the steel down top tube with a thud, but allows the bike to drift around the car’s rear and not become a life-sized bumper sticker.
Getting home and checking my body shows I’m bruised, but not broken. Live to ride another day.