This is the time of year when Wisconsinites cannot be assured of biking-friendly weather. It can be stunningly gorgeous as it was on Monday and Tuesday when the high reached close to 70. Or it can be raining a cold fifty-degree dampness, like today. It’s hard to know when a beautiful day and personal free time will align and I will get in that last ride.
So, I am grateful I made a last-minute decision to go for a ride the first Sunday in October. The day was much like the two aforementioned days this week – beautiful blue skies and above-normal temperatures. After returning home mid afternoon from a visit with mom, I quickly changed clothes and headed down to the garage.
Daylight was burning.
The ride itself was uneventful, but not without the facial sense of a warming fall sun and a path that was very familiar to me. It was the path that I take to work, one that hadn’t seen the orange Kona in several weeks. It’s been too dark in the morning to ride to the office, especially when the bike is devoid of lights (note to self, buy yourself a set of lights; great Christmas present). During the ride, I focused with intent to make note of the surroundings – the fields of golden brown, geese waddling in a pond, familiar landmarks, and autumn foliage. These are the scenes that will soon come from a moving, motorized vehicle and eventually, in winter, be covered by a blanket of white. But let’s not rush that last part…
I also paid attention to some of the signs on this route, the ones I tend to take for granted because I’ve passed them many times. I had to veer off course for one sign as it was a little off the path. Good thing, probably, as it was meant to protect curious snoopers like me.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent noticing how green the grass has remained; how the leaves have been slow to change color; how the trail curves, climbs and falls; how a detail like bumpy, brick red metal plates mark the crossing of a side road.
“Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end.”
I do not want to say goodbye to the bike or acknowledge a last ride. At least not on this trip. There has to be one more day…one more fairly nice day I can get out and ride. Perhaps on Friday with a day off. Perhaps this weekend, when it’s supposed to warm up after today’s rain and falling temperatures. Perhaps we’ll get an unusually warm day in November and I’ll take a spin down the trail, say my goodbyes, and take the curve home one more time.
I promise to keep it under 20.