It’s numbers if you want it:
Fifth of 30 days of biking, 10 mile-an-hour wind, 32mm tires, third tandem in thirty years, the time, the date, her height, my weight, the number of cars that pass us, and the number of cars that don’t pass us because people are walking, reading, gardening, working, or riding bicycles instead of driving.
But what is it if it’s not numbers?
Daylight. Silent movement. Little said. Much shared.
A worn rear tire that may have another ride in it—but now may not, given my recognition of the decrepitude of its tread.
The unknown origin and trajectory of a box spring and, closer to the road, a mattress.
Observation of an obedient dog.
A yard—because it was a yard when there was a house in it not so long ago—full of tree butchery, short cuts across long limbs, the remains displayed in the open to the satisfaction of no passers-by.
How far we’ve come in anything but time or miles.
How far we have to go.
(Our internal GPS, with limited memory, misfiring neurons, and dicey batteries, offers an untraceable map into the past. Useless thing.)
In short, everything we think about when we’re not thinking about numbers.
All of it. Some of it.
And how today’s trip, like previous trips and trips to come, inescapably ends in numbers.
April 5. 17 miles.