Friday, January 9, 2009

chasing pavement

I've seen a few people out on bikes today, and have been just a little jealous of each one of them.
the first one was at about 8 am, when my street was still beautifully decorated with strips of icy, frozen slush pushed into strips running parallel with the curb. in between the strips were bumpy frozen blobs of snow, and although it was very pretty, it didn't seem like anything I'd like to ride my bike on.
the earlybird cyclist I saw, however, is one tough cookie. I've seen her a number of times, and this morning my eyes latched onto her tires, trying to determine just what kind of bicycle she was riding. the tires weren't nearly as fat as my mountain bike tires, but they were wider than my road tires: hybrid tires, I guess. it has to be some kind of commuter bike, and she definitely looks like a commuter. she wears black with bright yellow trim, and has some kind of pannier or pack on the front or rear of her bike (I'm not proving myself to be terribly observant, am I?). this morning she came tooling past me, as I shoveled some snow from my driveway, and I watched her with awe as she slowed at the corner and headed off down the side street.
I was not jealous that she was riding and I was not: I was jealous that she was comfortable and enough in control to navigate her way through that ridiculously dangerous pavement.
8 hours later, our streets are almost dry and significantly more clear. and I have been inside the house or inside my car all day, looking at those other cyclists with a small amount of lust. pavement is revealing itself right and left, and it's 35 degrees . . .
sunday, however, is forecast at 41 degrees, only partly cloudy: can you see my mind working? there is potential for a ride, especially if the snow banks keep inching their way back out of the bike lanes . . .
I chose the title for this piece for it's double meaning: I am both anxiously awaiting the uncovering of more and more pavement, and realizing the futility of it all. it's january 9th, for crying out loud, and we have a lot more winter in front of us. I am chomping at the bit, and yet fully aware of the absurdity of my desires. I should be like my favorite bike shop boy, and just get on my mountain bike and tough it out. or hang up the shoes until it's time to play the real way again.
alas, I am me, and I will continue to chase that pavement. and I will ride. and I will be exhilarated, and return to joyfully tell you all about it.

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