We’re out on our bikes every weekend. I think nothing of riding 30 miles. Perhaps this isn’t exactly my idea–I’m more a bicyclist/shopper/rider-to-the-coffeehousehouse–but my husband encourages me to ride long distances. It was a perfect day to ride the trail, the sun gleaming, the woods that bright surprising green, and the river muddy brown. Other bicylists are riding in small groups, wearing their sponsors’ t-shirts, preparing for the cross-state group bike rides: riding hundreds of miles with hundreds of other bicyclists.
All the groups looked happy, but I’ve always thought of bicycling as an individual activity. There’s nothing worse than falling off your bike because everybody in front of you slams on his/her brakes to avoid a crash. I like to glide, cogitate, and take my time. My funny thoughts today: perhaps I could snap photos of every bench on the trail–and, well, have an art installation, faking meaning? Although I didn’t take photos of the benches, I did snap a picture of this feed store in a small town:
This is where my book group meets. Ha, ha. We could all wear feed caps. And blend in with the landscape. .. I’m wondering if there are a lot of feed stores around these days. Not in the city. My grandfather owned an “implement store”–a tractor dealership–and we used to sit on the tractors, read Trixie Belden, and drink free cokes from the “pop machine”–which was like a big cooler.
As you all know, I never take a bike ride without a book. Last year it was P. G. Wodehouse. Everywhere I bicycled I took breaks sitting on benches along the trail and chortled over Jeeves and the Empress of Blandings. Today I took the wrong book. I loved Connie Willis’s Blackout, the latest in her time-travel/historical novel series–simply a great World War II novel even if you don’t like SF. But The Doomsday Book, winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards, amuses me much less, perhaps because of the Middle Ages setting, perhaps because it’s more contrived, and I’m bored by the mystery virus that strikes futuristic Oxford and our time traveler. I’ll bring more Wodehouse next time. It’s important to be able to fall into a book and rest up for the ride home.