a sunset too good to ignore and refining the route
So last night while driving home I was so taken by the sunset that I pulled off into the sprawling parking lot at the corner of Laurel and the 72 Bypass and managed to get this photo with the handy-dandy little iPhone - because, seriously, you don't get a good sunset like this every day. And a sunset like this calls for the appropriate Scripture, and hey, it's EASY to google "sunset" and "Bible" and get this -
"They who dwell on the ends of the earth stand in awe of your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy." Psalm 65:8, NASB
- and that about sums that up for me, thank you!
This morning I really, really wanted to sleep in, but I prayed for a couple of minutes and threw my legs over the side of the bed and completed the dress-eat-cereal-grab-water-bottle-and-bike-get-out-the-door thang and was rolling by 6:10. I repeated the start of yesterday's ride - Durst to W. Cambridge to Chinquapin to Sunset, spinning along and thinking about a Facebook post by an associate which she had linked to a lengthy article on knee pain. That author had devoted a lot of space to cleat float issues, with specific recommendations for various clipless pedals. I wondered what the author (or my old associate, for that matter) would say about my MKS Sylvan pedals with clips and straps, and then I was warmed up enough to enjoy Sunset.
Seriously. I enjoyed Sunset, and prepared myself for the little wall climb, because Ainsley does it every time he goes for a ride, and it was a good day to be thankful to be on a bike. I decided to be thankful that there was a hill for me to climb and a speedy bike under me and I grinned my way up it, breathing easier than yesterday.
Today I turned onto Calhoun Road, which at this point was also the 225 Bypass, and stayed on it. I looked over to the left at the equestrian ring at Connie Maxwell, and considered stopping for a moment to grab a photo of the trains lined up in the rail yard over in Maxwellton on the right, but kept on. There was more traffic here, and faster, so I focused on going on up the road and maintaining a brisk pace. The motorists I encountered weren't bad, necessarily, but they weren't giving up much more than the statutory 3 feet of clearance as they went by. Maybe they figured, "hey, he's maintaining a straight line and wearing a helmet - he's fine." Whatever, it's not a road to dawdle on, and I was glad to turn off onto Epting and head towards town.
It was 6:41, and I was a few minutes ahead of the rush to Self Regional Hospital by its assorted staff folks that I knew was coming. I spun on down the long hill at a comfortable speed, topping out somewhere around 26 mph, then onto the little bottom land section. I saw an orange and white cat stalking something in the grass below the bridge and said hello softly. His head turned as I went past as he watched me, a near-silent blur seen through tall grass as it passes by, and that's an awfully deep thought to be pondering while riding a fixed-gear before having one's first cup of coffee for the day, isn't it?
Up now, and remembering to be grateful for the hills that make us strong and tall, now standing and feeling the bike swing under me, still feeling better than I have any right to feel - thank you, LORD! - and rolling up to the light at Spring Street and actually catching the yellow. Nice. I smiled at folks crossing the street to go into the hospital, complimented a guy working on his beautiful container garden full of tall corn, and generally had a lovely time.
Back into Uptown Greenwood now, where the light at Maxwell and Main is either set to pick up cyclists or it's on a timer - it worked for me, which is what I cared about most - and then around onto Bailey Circle and down Jennings to my new route home with its steep little climb up Sproles that was so good I looped around and did it again, because I could. My second time around I saw the same black cat I had seen yesterday, sitting in the same pose in the same driveway, and wondered idly if I would always be drawn to notice black cats. Probably. Then it was back to my own driveway, where I learned I had 12.2 miles for the day and a residual grin. Thanks for reading, and again - thank you, LORD.