Riding the bike to work. The bandage on the boo-boo of having to go in to earn a paycheck instead of staying out to play all day. However, that check is helpful for when playtime rolls around so the funds for fun are available. And of course, any riding is good no matter the destination.
Even better, the sights along the way that I might have missed because I’d otherwise not be there.
When we vacation at the beach, the boyfriend and I always make it a point to get up in time to see the sunrise. But I admit, on an average day off it’s more likely daylight gets started before I do. The early schedule I’ve had over the past several years has put me out before dawn to places I feel lucky to have been in right at a certain moment.
There are lots of mental snapshots I’ve stored in my head because the chance to take a photo wasn’t there. It’s a treasure to pull these memories up to always have and savor, though I do wish I had the skills to paint or draw them out to share. I’ll have to try to get them on paper at some point, it’s on my rainy-day list.
Still, I’m not sure if that would even get the full experience across. If you ride, you know part of the joy of what you’re taking in comes from a combination of senses. All I can do is try to describe a couple of these miracles I feel lucky to have witnessed.
Like one at what became my favorite stoplight.
The New Bridge in Virginia, crossing part of Lake Anna was under construction. One lane was closed with east and westbound travelers taking turns getting through, managed by the traffic signal. That particular spring, I kept my fingers crossed that I’d arrive at the point in this cycle that would leave me sitting the longest.
I relished those chilly mornings, shutting the bike off to listen to the peepers sing as the sky got lighter. The pastel shades of dawn were reflected in the water and it would ripple as fish flipped out and back in, maybe catching a buggy breakfast. Knowing that someday this would no longer be part of my daily route made the locally infamous “wait on route 208” seem too short.
Years later my commute on the PA backroads between Gettysburg and Hanover offered up a few sunrises made spectacular by the element of surprise. Initially hidden by a tree line or hill, these scenes were revealed as I’d exit a curve. The air would turn from cool to a pocket of warmth as the day’s first rays hit me along with its majesty. Caught up in bold hues of purple, pink, and gold right along with the perfume of some nearby wildflower was enough to move me to tears.
Or was it that I’d fooled myself into thinking I was on a road trip and realized I was on a short ride to work instead?!