Friday, October 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Ride, 2011

Cycling is the ideal form of exercise for a temperament that clings to a grudge. If the stretch is long enough, the bitter broth of anxiety that stews from a nursed grudge seems to evaporate over the miles. On the other hand, of course, cars and their drivers also provide no shortage of meaty grudge material.

I won't get into the sins of my brethren with the internal combustion engines, except to say I can't understand why, when the opportunity presents itself, a driver doesn't give a cyclist a respectable berth. I could have, and maybe should have, pushed the impulse and gone for another three-hour ride. Perhaps the extra hour would have purged me of the snarly vibe that built up as I encountered driver after driver who dropped their good manners when they picked up the keys to the car.

Still, in this small corner of the world it has been a sensational fall season. I'm thankful for that. In fact, the weekend was downright hot. I'm not so thankful for that, but since the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of my wretched species it would be disingenuous of me to grumble. We slept with the windows open and the ceiling fans on, the better to catch the noise made by drunken youths tying one on into Sunday morning. When the sun rose without a church being set alight, I was grateful for that.

I'm also grateful for the road work being done on a stretch of highway north of town, which has discouraged traffic and enabled me to ride in relative peace and quiet. I've had a lovely, hilly circuit that takes me north of, then through Woodville, before depositing me back at home. And the girls holding the traffic signs have all been pleasant. An unusually lengthy cycling season does indeed seem like a gift.