In case it rains in the afternoon, I ride my bike up the road this morning. It's perfect weather now, with a soft summery breeze still damp from the rain last night, and fresh smelling, blooming phlox, wild wood geraniums, columbine, and ferns.
A half mile up the road, a bald eagle swoops down and circles back across the river, scouting the fresh killed racoon, that already appears to have been dined on. I swerve around the carnage, and look into the clear, flow of the water of the stream beside the road now. Because I ride this way everyday, I know every curve and twist of it. I have it memorized.
Next, I come to the circle curve, by Mary Lee's place, and now I'm high above the river that
has gone straight. I call this the Zuider Zee. I've never seen the Zuider Zee, but I pretend I'm
in Holland now, and there are some black and white cows on the polder. The river bank is straight along here, and grassed. It reminds me of a dike. I decide I don't have time this morning to ride all the way up to the abandonned blue school bus, with its faded, hand painted banner "Amnesty" and "Let Freedom Ring". I usually like to ride up as far as the Let Freedom Ring bus, but not this morning.
Instead, I turn around at my favorite bend in the river, where there are rapids and open sky and clouds reflect in a smooth elbow of the flowing West Fork. I also see remains of a dead gray cat have nearly disappeared now, two weeks since I first saw it dead, beside the road. Dead animals are a sad fact of country roads. Once, when Ursula was still riding with me, in her seat on the back of my yellow Schwinn, we came upon a cow that had fallen out of the woods, down the shale slide, and rolled upside down into the ditch.
She was struggling. We rode to the next farm up the road, and told the farmer. That was so sad, and happened over 30 years ago. Still, I remember that cow every time I pedal by that place. And I miss my little, heavy bike passenger!
Maybe this afternoon I'll head up the road again, and see what's new.
(also, some colors of cotton and linen I'm looking at, and of course, my peony in full bloom!)
I always look forward to your rambles and your weaving.
It feels like rain here, too.
I love reading your blog, Susan, it's a little taste of home. I know that stretch of road so well, biking towards Avalanche waiting for Ursula to appear from around the next curve in the road.
Alice, Thanks, and it is a ramble!
Nora, it's the prettiest 4 miles of road to Bloomingdale. Riding along it brings so many memories of when you kids were still little
knowing a place so well that every roadkill is a personal event, many plants are friends, eagerly awaited each turn of the the year, this is something very very special. i think cycling is about as fast as a human should go...
Velma, yes, biking the same road everyday makes me aware of so many small changes, the light, seasons, flora, fauns. Now there are fly fishers. Amish buggies, the old donkey with the evil eye who used to chase after me along the pasture fence. Luckily, he seems to have forgotten me this year. How fast is a bicycle? Fast enough. Someone said 17 mph. If i manage 12 mph I'd be very surprised.
yes, nora! I remember riding to meet halfway, hoping to see you sooner than later on the ride. glad you're biking that route so regularly, mom. also glad I don't remember that poor cow...
Ursula, You don't remember the cow? You kids went back & forth between Bloomingdale & Avalanche a lot.
We used to ride after supper, me & dad & you kids, I remember. Somebody riding on the little yellow bike, Honey-a-Bee
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