Doing the epic bike-to-work-route once a week seems to be working out so far. When I did it last week I didnâ€™t feel nearly as worn down to a soggy pulp as I had the week before. This time I only slightly wanted to die and float away on a fluffy cloud, a cloud with built-in adjustable therapeutic massage function, so I suppose thatâ€™s progress. Iâ€™m told that the angry little knot of pain I feel in my lower back after about ten miles most likely means that I have to get the handlebars adjusted, and it probably does not mean that I am congenitally bike-impaired. And that is good.
The tiredness and the soreness do not outweigh the awesomeness of the trail and the river and the scruffy overgrown back roads and all the things I see on them. The week before last, I saw duck sex. I mean I was riding by and there by the side of the trail I saw a duck, and then another duck was sort of tangled up with it. It wasnâ€™t until Iâ€™d already passed them that I realized what they were doing, and then I turned around, because how often do you get a chance to see ducks fuck? But by the time I went back it was all over, and the two of them were walking up the trail with a sort of awkward silence between them. Oh yeah, I know what thatâ€™s about, ducks.
The week before that I saw three deer diving across the trail, one after the other, like Esther Williams swimmers in formation. And last week I passed a front yard where half a dozen prom couples posed for photos, the girls lined up together in their strapless dresses.
I expected to see at least a few of the 17-year cicadas on to the trees, but it seems they didn’t really emerge around here, since I’ve only heard about sightings in the suburbs. At least I don’t have to worry about running over all their crunchy little exoskeletons.
If we manage to do most of the things we’re planning to do in the next few months, it’ll be the most summery summer I’ve had in maybe twenty years. The bike already makes me feel like I’m twelve, and when the outdoor city park pool opens for the season I’ll start doing my laps there instead of at the gym. So conceivably I could ride my bike to the pool. I think the last time I did that, compact discs didn’t exist yet, and neither did my boobs. Really, all I need now to truly recapture those days is a pair of jellies and the freakish compulsion to reapply Maybelline mascara every 35 minutes or so, because I was that kind of girl. Now, not so much.