Dimming Mornings

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October 4th 2005
Published: October 4th 2005
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Sunrise with SailboatSunrise with SailboatSunrise with Sailboat

Sunrise on Lake Carmi in northern Vermont.
My neighbor’s sprinkler makes a gentle patter on the sidewalk, tapwater meandering through the cracks and channels towards the gutter and the nearly-dead, oxygen-deprived Elizabeth River. Who knows? Perhaps a Tru-Green ChemLawn makes for a Tru-Green Chesapeake Bay.

The sky glows pink and orange as clouds drift by low enough to reflect our streetlights back in an earlier glow punctuated by patches of pre-dawn azure blue, and the crepe myrtle stands in shadowed contrast, the alien trees engulfing human-scaled street lamps. The hum of air conditioners (It’s 64 degrees people, open your windows!) is accented by the constant buzz of cicadas and the odd mockingbird.

It’s a good morning for a bike ride.

It’s just another morning for a drive.

There’s a connection that’s maintained with the world (natural or manmade) that is lost in a car. On a bike I become aware of every nuance of the weather: every change of wind, every cloud that slides in front of the sun. But the steel and glass and plastic and air conditioning of an automobile insulates a person from any such distractions. Only the most extreme of meteorological phenomena can invade the automotive cocoon: torrential rain, tornados and the like.

Every year for the past three now my Monday night bike ride has dwindled in numbers as the Fall Equinox approached. Departing at 6:30, we are acutely aware of the sun’s path across the firmament, curtailed every day by a few minutes. Three months ago I would have sat on my porch at 6:30 in the morning bathed in near-horizontal sunlight. Now in October I must wait another half hour to see sunrise.

I once came into the office and exclaimed to a co-worker, “Did you see that sunrise?” She replied, “I don’t’ see sunrises.” I pitied her because I suspect that from the vantage point of her driver’s seat, she doesn’t.

On a bike you notice these things. Each ride is different from the next. The textures of the morning and the neighborhood change every day. But in a car it’s always the same old radio show, the same old AC setting, the same old frustration at omnipresent delays.

I’ll take my bike.


5th October 2005

Everyday biking
If you gave up biking way back in grade school and on occasion considered taking it up again but a busy life style and work and family obligations kept you from it,take the plunge.A must first step,-buy a new bike.Don't even consider your 10-15 year old beater with the drop-down handlebars.A new bike makes it easier to ignore a sore butt and creeping discourigement on your first few foreys out.Clearing the mental hurdle of resistance, self-doubt ,and endless supply of excuses comes at different times for everybody. Then suddenly you realize that you actually look forward to your next ride,maybe even commute to work now and then on nice days. Virtually no one who ever added biking to his or her routine wish they hadn't.More than likely you will curtail other activities to fit more ciclyng in.It is a cliche,but it's worth using it.You'll wonder why you didn't start years earlier.

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