Seven Day Forecast
From my bed I could see it; blue sky and its attendant promises.
Lift and lower. My old Marin came down from its hook. Lift and lower. The pump restored new life to the tires. Except the the rear one, which had a flat. “You can take my wheel,” offered Mary chivalrously.
Lift and lower. All the riding clothes, stored in boxes on shelves, came down. Check the brakes. There’s rubbing. Adjust. Test. Readjust. Repeat for 20 minutes and then realize it’s the mud guard, not the brake. There’s the rub!
The pavement advises caution. Pot holes are large enough to swallow a wheel; edges crumble like dessert dust. The shoulders, the paved shoulders, are covered with anthropocene silt – gravel, salt, bungee cords, smashed car bits, shreds of paper. The record of half a year of humanity was bound, compressed and frozen in stop-motion; and then deposited in a layer one centimeter thick.
A couple pass me on a rise. It is pointless trying to catch them. They are on road bikes – she an Eclipse carbon fibre, he a Peugot steel frame. I am on a hybrid configured for heavy touring over Romanian roads.
The legs are good – lift and lower, lift and lower. The left knee is behaving. It was injured October 21 running on a treadmill; by December I was a cripple and could not use stairs. Swimming kept me in shape over the winter and helped my wind. By the end of the ride the hip flexors are demanding attention.
Almost 6 months. For those who would like an idea of what this winter was like, I recommend this video. It has gone viral in Canada, for good reason.