While drinking by the blanciest of casas blanca, this conversation:
Rick: We’ll always have the wind. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but whenever we ride.
Ilsa: Yes, the wind. And in the mornings, perhaps less of it.
Rick: You’re getting on that bike with zip ties where you belong.
Ilsa: And you, Rick…
Ilsa: Try to keep up.
That lowly braggart, that big ol’ ball of flames, did promise fair chase this day, but as his want this April, abandoned the chase well before the climb past the lilacs on Santa Fe Road.
If there’s such a thing as a perfect ride, this is it.
Downhill warm up, smooth roads, 65 degrees, Santa Fe Burlington Northern train clearing the crossing one minute before I needed the same space, tailwind chasing me on the way home, thunder upon arrival and light rain 15 minutes after that.
Took the picture just south of the old 10-mile time trial dogleg toward Truitt and, eventually, Chillicothe.
Might need to trial it again and see what difference 30 years makes.
The best destinations lead somewhere else.
Let’s face it. One of the earliest and most elegant bicycles was developed in Canada centuries ago.
You may have missed the story in class due to the machinations of the international bicycle wheel lobby, an organization with members professionally incapable of recognizing a bicycle without wheels–including the Canadian design.
But consider the genius behind the machine.
No bearings, no wheels, no moving parts–just a reshaped and inverted bicycle fender propelled by a flattened stick.
Some folks call it a canoe.
It’s simple. Efficient. Capable of long-distance transportation of people and freight and designed, like all bicycles, for the specific terrain at hand: in this case, water.
Where do you want to go?
Across the Great Lakes? Take a canoe.
Hudson Bay? Canoe.
From Chicago to New Orleans? Canoe.
Eleven-mile road loop west of Chillicothe, Illinois?
Okay, not a canoe.
The solid portion of the Earth really does seem to demand the complexity of a bicycle with wheels.
But a pair of fenders still goes a long way.
Not a good day to forget the tire pump, but an excellent day to not have a flat.
The bike is parked at the top of Miller Hill–just before the road twists down the bluff to meet Hallock Hollow and the Illinois River valley.
Country redbuds are out in full glory; their city counterparts always get a jumpstart on the season.
Returning home, I notice the first wave of what promises to be a good crop of dandelions–important early forage for honeybees.
And yes, I’m one of those kind of gardeners: I’ll pull a dandelion if it cozies up to a favorite flower or vegetable, but other than that, let a thousand blossoms bloom.
After all, you can’t make wine from bluegrass.
I’ve used daylight running lights since early 2016.
Every day of every ride.
So it’s a bit surprising to finally use them at night.
Now granted, the 650-lumen headlight is on its highest setting, and the rear light is sold on two-kilometer visibility during the day, but wow.
I’ve never owned bicycle lights that needed to be dimmed for oncoming traffic.
Note: Shortest ride of the month–just around the neighborhood–but certainly the most illuminating.