Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tonight's ride

I've been pushing out further and further on my daily rides. Typically I have to get home for work, but my ride tonight was open ended. And I had a tailwind. When I began riding in Corpus, starting a ride with a tailwind was like a sailor's red sky morning--I always dreaded the blustery trip home. But I learned to enjoy the unnatural speed it offers and how that speed smoothes a road.

So I set out to work on intervals and was fifteen miles out with just the warmup. I was in new territory, passing a filling station with a horse tied up out front. I should say hitched. The road was lined with ditch flowers, ragged purple faced weeds that bespoke unknown noble birth, like a field of heiresses sent to live in the country during a time of turmoil in the court.

There was a caballerito practicing his roping on a roan mini in a hilltop corral, a rural Czech market with their flag at half mast. Of course, there was the obligatory prison, wastewater plant and waste transfer station. But there was also the low bridge over the Colorado river and  country cafe brightly painted blue and yellow with live music on the other side. As old as the Colorado is, it's strange to think that much of that water is making its first trip down stream, that a steady series of new, of constant innovation amounts to something so old, beyond historic. My intervals started just beyond the cafe which is ideal because it seems that nothing can follow you across the river. The sweet, quick smell like God's fresh laundry is unburdening.

On my way home the sun was setting with the silent swiftness of stars. The moon, which rises and sets as it pleases, was already well above the trees and so together we watched the seismic sunset, unearthed fiery striations telling the story of millenia of wistfull departures, of a sun that sleeps alone.

It was dark when I got home and my dog didn't recognize me, but he never does when I'm fresh off the bike.