The end of the biking year is almost upon us. Last year, my last bike ride was in early November, but one never knows when the end will come. There could be (God forbid) an early snow. The Alberta Clipper might come for an extended stay at any time. That’s when I take it inside. *
It’s been a good summer for biking. Even though July was a scorching beast, the early mornings were more than pleasant enough. Conversely, the chill is too much for me these fall mornings, so I tend to wait till mid-day.
As usual, biking in the fall presents its share of difficulties, many of which I have already chronicled here. The fallen leaves are starting to pile up, along with the twigs and other autumn detritus, sometimes kicking up onto my legs and derailleur. So far, no spills.
There’s nothing like a bike from which to appreciate the foliage. You’re out in the open with the trees. The leaves are right there, displaying colors so vivid and varied, they’d make a box of Crayolas blush.
The path has been transformed into something better than the proverbial red carpet. It’s more of a rainbow carpet. And you, the cyclist, are the guest of honor.
This summer, I saw a lot of wildlife on the path, from rabbits to deer. A few weeks ago brought a first for me: a snake spreading itself across the path to try to get as much of that shallow angle sunshine as possible onto its cold-blooded body. He put himself in a dangerous position. I hope it was worth it.
(For wildlife, however, nothing beats the bear that wandered into our neighborhood and through our next door neighbors yard. But that’s another story.)
The most memorable event by far happened a couple of weeks ago. I was glancing frequently at my odometer as I approached a momentous milestone in my cycling summer. When it hit, I looked up to see what I can only describe as a natural ticker-tape celebration of the feat. On what was an otherwise calm day, a breeze must have picked up and shook the trees, loosing a storm of leaves and pine needles all over me and the way before me.
As quickly as it started, it ceased. It truly seemed as if it were there just to congratulate me. It was wicked cool – a “God thing” as some are wont to say. I’m thankful to Him for His encouragement.
That’s all. Nothing profound, no gripes or whines. It’s a time for gratitude and wonder. As are all times.
*By the way, my old exercise bike is pretty much DOA. If anyone has one to sell, contact me.