Friday, July 9, 2010

5 grams, or less than 2/10 of an ounce

if you know much about cycling, you know that True Cyclists are concerned about weight. their own, of course, but even more often, the weight of the bicycle and everything on it. the water bottle cages, the wheel set, what one carries in their under-seat pack, one's shoes . . . the best cycling clothes are also made out of the lightest fabrics possible.
because it all matters---all matter matters---especially when one is climbing up a hill.
none of us want to drag any unnecessary weight.
in the early morning I judge the lightening sky to determine if I really have to put my front light on or not: it weighs a good 4 1/2 ounces. (never mind that I gained a pound from eating two slices of chocolate cake the night before.)

I laugh at myself about this, because for me, it all just boils down to those darn leg muscles. either they're going to get me up the hill or not, regardless of that extra 13 ounces I might be packing along from something or another.

and what stimulated these thoughts today is that it is fully hummingbird season in the canyons. yesterday and today they danced along with me as I pedaled up, flapping their wings so that all I saw was a blur. yesterday morning I saw eight or nine of them, or I saw the same one eight or nine times, I can't be sure. there have been times when I'm certain one is following me, playing with me, teasing me onward and upward.
I've learned that when they hover, they actually are flapping their wings in a different pattern, a figure-eight pattern, to stay in one place.
like I can tell.
I'm not sure why these creatures are so delightful to me. there are songbirds, there are more colorful birds, there are birds who dip and soar and float so beautifully through the air . . . why is it that hummingbirds seem so special to me? I think, perhaps, it's because they are the only ones who dance so close to me as I ride, who hover and play and seem to guide me up the hill.

and each one weighs less than the lightest water bottle cage you can buy. in fact, the titanium (ooh, shiver) water bottle cage that weighs a mere 28 grams still weighs more than five hummingbirds together.
to hold a hummingbird would be like holding a single piece of copy paper.
and just picture their activity, their flight, their beauty and grace.

this morning I heard at least a hundred different birds calling or singing, and I saw wrens and robins and one startlingly beautiful goldfinch, darting in front of and beside me. I saw just a few hummingbirds (or one, a few times), and I felt immense gratitude for their gift of flight, and for my gift of fancying them.

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