Monday, March 02, 2009

Long Ride Home

In a talk I saw the Ashtanga yoga guru, Richard Freeman, give last week, he said that while the Northwest isn’t exactly heaven, it’s pretty close, and I tend to agree, especially when, as I did on Saturday, I find myself out on a bike for a couple hours. It was a lovely afternoon for a ride: partly cloudy and cool, with just a gentle breeze lifting the throngs of songbirds who’ve reappeared here at the incipient spring and having had, as my late breakfast following several hours of grading papers, half a Perfessor Dave’s shortbread space cookie, I enjoyed every minute of my two-wheeled peregrinations, even when I decided to assay one of the longest, steepest hills in town, the notorious Dravus Boulevard in Magnolia, which I’m thinking of including, at least as an alternative, on the route for the upcoming Tour de French Fry on March 28th.

Today, by contrast, riding home from school, even though I covered fewer miles and not nearly so many hills, I had to keep forcing myself to continue; it wasn’t that I was miserable on the bike, it’s just that it wasn’t so much pure enjoyment as it was a kind of chore. My bike felt heavy, my legs felt weak, and I wished I was a much faster rider so I’d be home all that much sooner.

On the other hand, if Richard Freeman is right, at least any of the pain and/or boredom I was experiencing were being experienced in something close to heaven, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

I wonder, though, if up there in the perfect celestial sphere, you get the kind of sudden soaking downpour that split open the skies as I was passing by the UW. Fortunately, I’d packed all my plastic so I was able to gear up against the elements. But as further proof that this isn’t heaven, as soon as I got it all on, the rain basically stopped.


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