CCM Diary: Blue Skies Smiling at Me

The weather today was glorious, a day to store in memory against those inevitable times when it seems like the heat (or cold) will never end.  The sky was bright blue.  The foliage, revitalized by the return of cool nights and yesterday’s rain, was bright green.  I was warm enough to be comfortable in shorts and a light shirt, but cool enough to stay sweat-free.  It was a great day for a bike ride.

I took another trip around the 32 mile Carlisle/Concord loop this morning.  It always takes me a while to get going, but at some point, my legs start to feel stronger and I get comfortable using higher gears and powering right along.  I used to get a second wind like that with running.  I don’t know why, but I don’t any more, and I miss the feeling.  It’s one of the things I enjoy about riding my bike.

Just about the time I slid into that groove on today’s ride, I noticed a sign for Parker Meadow, some conservation land next to the bike path in Lexington between the Center and Route 128. I must have passed it dozens of times, but I never noticed it before.

As I crossed over 128, the morning rush hour traffic was moving right along.  That’ll stop next week, when everyone’s back from vacation, but for now even the people heading to work could enjoy the morning.

I saw some animals on my ride (but no bunnies).  Just after 128, two turkeys waddled across the path ahead of me.  When I stopped to try and get a picture, they ran off, leaving three of their friends stranded on the other side.  Coming into Carlisle, there was a dog leaping and barking, trying to get the attention of the bored horse sharing the paddock with him.  And the usual group of birds was sitting on the wires overlooking the Concord River at Lowell Rd., but today they uneasily shared their perch with a hawk.

I ran over a nail on the road leading into Concord.  My luck held out in spite of the lack of bunnies.  The nail dug into to my tire far enough to stay attached, even after banging against my frame a couple dozen times before I stopped to find out what was causing the noise.  But it didn’t dig in far enough to pop my tube.

When I got back to Arlington, I stopped at home to exchange my Camelbak for my laptop bag, and then I got back on my bike to ride into Cambridge for lunch at Life Alive.  The surroundings on that part of the ride weren’t quite as pleasant, but the trip made me doubly virtuous – I added an extra nine miles to my ride and I forsook animal flesh for a healthy, organic (and delicious) vegetarian meal.

Not everything was perfect.  My kneecaps get tender when I ride.  When I get back on my bike after taking a break for lunch, my knees feel like I’m running them over a cheese grater .  And sadly, when it comes to my receding hairline, helmet-head is stronger than denial.

(41.7 mi. bike; 147#)

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