A Certain Exhilaration

It is somehow far into November, Thanksgiving already, when I’m still thinking West Coast Tour de Pink which was a month ago now.  A long overdue ride report:

Riding two hundred plus miles in California is just as you would imagine it: sunny and warm, miles passing without even realizing it. Cycling often holds metaphors for life so perhaps it’s true that living in California, with the means to really enjoy it, as one enjoys a really nice bike, is a little work but mainly play.  As I was instructed heading out on the first day’s leg of the Cali Tour: “The bad news is today’s ride is hilly; the good news is it’s all downhill.”   Imagine getting born and this is the prophecy handed to you: a sloping, downhill ride, under perfect skies…along the Pacific Coast Highway in California.

But the pleasures of my East Coast life are here for me.  I came home from palm trees and Pacific waters to the cathedral-like beauty of autumn in New England, arches of trees and warm colors constructed leaf by leaf.  When hit by certain angles of light, this could bring nearly anyone to their knees in the private little forum that is one’s mind, regardless of elevation gained or lost.  If you know what it is to ride through the sunlight of autumn as it comes streaming through changing leaves, you know that its effect is that of exhilaration…that in effect, it’s a racing downhill ride.  Hands off the brakes, fingers ready to slow the rush but staying open to speed.  Coasting, concentrating, and letting go, all at the same time.

The textured and etched greys of late November are up next, snow close behind.  Uphill, downhill.  Beautiful either and every way.  Emily Gresh

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