Thursday, April 23, 2009

lesson six: dapple

A 5:45 A.M. sky in mid-spring is brighter than you may think. This morning's is full of promise and portent, the Cascades briskly visible and glowing blue under a red mars to the east, but the Olympics to the west, usually visible by their snowfields at this hour, are invisible behind dark clouds. The roads of Seattle are dry and discolored by the mix of orange sodium light and blue dawn.

Find a little nylon hip pouch when you decide, for no particular reason, to wait the red at a deserted Capitol Hill intersection. Lock the bike up outside of work, go inside, and start rolling that heavy boulder up the hill.

By mid morning the west has prevailed and a stuttering rain becomes a downpour. Since your bike is only allowed to get wet when it is being ridden, take it inside. Make coffee and watch the rain stop, leaving the streets wet and dark. Another northern spring.

In the early afternoon, the clouds have lost their gumption and a bright, crisp sun has dried the streets. Stand in the warm, windy light and eat bread and half an avocado. Ride through Capitol Hill and wind through Interlaken, where the long gray trees have grown a fragile green halo. Carve the shady hairpin in the drop. Inside pedal up.

A little bit later in the afternoon, ride your favorite shortcut through the little urban wilderness near your house. A dusty road under the freshly green trees, a sun-dappled stream running alongside among stones and trees. The road bursts from the shadowed vale into a sunny clearing surrounded by trees and houses. Perfect white clouds climb high into the sunny blue sky. A perfect moment in an imperfect era. Continue riding to the store to spend money on expensive bicycle parts.


Introducing Redbear, a recently acquired touring bike. It is good, but not perfect (toe-clip overlap in a touring bike!?). It rides with sedate elegance. Stable and predictable: the Mouse, being a slightly damaged road-racer, is actually difficult to control when ridden immediately after Redbear. Redbear shall feature prominently in future blogs, as it is ideally suited to long distance riding. Well, after a different, more comfortable, saddle is affixed it will be.

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