Time and time again, here in the midwest, here on this weekend, things change. No, its not really all that cold all of the sudden. No, its not the official arrival of fall that makes any difference - but its close to the mark. There are slips of cirrus at 20,000 feet, icy but beautiful and sweeping. There is a snap to the morning air that almost requires a higher collar... and the high collar feels good. There is a layer of leaves on the bike trail that gives a satisfying wake to the normal silence of rubber on asphalt. The birds are in a rush, and the squirrels. In the west today there is a roll to the skies and a greyness that speaks softly, but clearly. The sunsets are piquing interest, and suddenly it seems there is a reason to pay attention to them: tonight it dips just a degree or two south of due east. The rain tonight feels thick, heavy, chilly. Wool. Coffee.
Like so many years before, I love this weekend. The unabated joy of a well-supported century. Its a great ride, a great cause, and a challenge to keep going. Keep going? Something always changes after this weekend. Something always gets harder, the commutes more strenuous for some reason. Nothing specific... Just "me" more often than not. But, the season - the freshness of it, the chance to wear cycling clothes that not everyone can justify owning, the chance to keep a streak going, the chance to soak up a season the way most people that choose cars won't. Enjoyment and perfection aren't synonymous - just because its raining and gloomy, just because its not 85 and sunny, doesn't mean its a bad time to be outside. Our existance, and what we feel... it is still a gift. It is meant to be enjoyed.
I recommend enjoying it on a bicycle, of course. Get out there.
It is definitely more strenuous to commute once the weather starts get colder. I'm not sure if it's because of the colder air or the heavier clothes.
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