The Cycles of Life

I'm pretty happy to be able to bike almost anywhere in Northfield. My main destination, campus, is an easy two-mile ride which compels me to make a 20-meter climb over the 3200 meter distance (a lung-busting climb that is truly Grand Bouclesque) and brings me through some quiet neighborhood streets. A couple times, I've taken detours to swing by the downtown coffeeshop, where I didn't even bother to lock my bike on the rack shared with four other unlocked bikes. Holding my to-go cup in one hand made it a bit trickier to ascend the sharp little rise between the main downtown street and campus, but I dug deep and made it, à la Armstrong on Sestriere in 1999. And a few times now, I'm biked to my dentist's office for appointments. Riding home last Thursday with a heavily Novocained jaw was an interesting experience: who knew so much saliva could drool out of my mouth over such a short distance.

Aside from the wind, which never seems to be at my back, my main impression of my rides back and forth is, "Holy crap, that's a lot of dead animals." Roadkills are as numerous as they are offensive. For weeks now, a pigeon rock dove has been decomposing just this side of the centerline on my main east-west street. Every few days, it gets flatter and further west. The pigeon's posthumous persistence rots in contrast to a dead rabbit just a few blocks east; it was there one morning (and oozingly fresh, I might add), but gone that afternoon. Thank you, Neighborhood Shoveler. In between (both literally and figuratively), I routinely see the odd crow and grackle, a red-tailed hawk, some mice or other tiny rodents, and lots and lots of squirrels. God bless them all: Goodyear sure didn't.

email: christopher at tassava dot com