Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Especially during the last week. Rain and heavy overcast has created what can be an oppressive environment for riding both physically and mentally. Rain riding often asks for a little extra from a rider to get on the road and stay safe while there.
Stopping along the road to make a photograph gives you a chance to examine the pavement you’re riding on. A few steps, a drag of the sole of a boot along the road surface provides a sense of traction and the limits to work within.
And I’m always looking at the landscape in which my life unfolds. On some days it can feel like a scene from a movie.
Like finding a new bicycle path as a hint that some of my motorized riding could be transitioned to body powered travel in recognition of a healthier way of living.
I looked at my pink mountain bike today and considered riding it for a fleeting moment.
I feel that but know it hasn’t always been the case. Something changed that has allowed me to see the world differently. I like to ascribe that change to riding the Vespa but I could just as easily credit my camera which has forced a continual visual engagement.
If pushed I would probably say the advancement of years has made everything more precious. Looking around I realize how fleeting it all is. Riding provides a front row seat on the world. Getting older provides the patience to watch the show.
Riding across the valley south of State College brings a rider through some open, rolling agricultural areas. The round bales almost seemed like some new form of livestock as they sat in the corn stubble. The scene feels more like a painting than a photograph.
Fog and mist shroud the ridge tops obscuring the view. Imagination fills in the gaps and I’m always imagining Brigadoon. Funny how stories stick in your head and trigger a desire for something magic to happen. I have a long list of daydreams.
By the end of the ride, just shy of 50 miles, I was feeling the dampness and chill seep into my body. Not painful or uncomfortable but enough to allow genuine appreciation of a hot drink in a warm place. It’s easy to imagine travelers moving through the wilderness 200 years ago by wagon or horse and coming upon an inn at the end of a long day.
And so I sit with my hot tea staring out the window and imagining other lives and times, all because of a little rain riding.