Riding the Skies

Today was my first real bike ride of the year. After driving and taking the bus during most of the brutally icy winter, I’ve been bike commuting for a while again now, but two miles each way (even if they’re through the reawakening Arb) just doesn’t compare to a real ride.

Today, I had only thirty minutes to ride, so I headed out from our place, up and down a sizable hill that’s literally 90 seconds away, and then back over the hill and up a nice easy road to the edge of campus, where I took a few laps of the fun, technical trails in the Upper Arb. I cleaned the junk out of my legs from my last workout, and built up some new junk for tomorrow.

Besides the pure pleasure of riding – which is second only to skiing as a wellspring of joy – today’s ride was notable for the incredible skies. Northfield is frequently blessed by some spectacular skies, but today’s were especially amazing. While I rode, Northfield was under blue sky that was bounded on all sides by the ragged-veil clouds of distant rain. It was stunning to see: literally a ring of rain all around us, but not on us. The late-afternoon sun was doing some wonderful things to the rain, too: making it a deep purple off to the west, a paler indigo to the north and south, and a light blue to the east. For a few minutes of the ride, I was tracked by four circling turkey buzzards, as black as the jets heading in to MSP were silver.

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