If You Can’t Ride…

My friend had said that they would be out of the woods about dark. That’s when I pulled in, me and my healing knee, my bike hanging dusty at home. As I had driven over the ridge between there and here, the sun was setting. That hued cacophony of light quickly moved west. Its passing marked the time that we were supposed to vacate the dirt-road parking lot.

We broke out camp chairs. We cracked beers. 

Our rebellion causing no concern, we sat long enough to watch the moon glide through the high crotch of a bare beech, its branches a black lacework against the marine-blue sky. A north wind scudded the clouds overhead, their shadows a running tarnish on the silver ground.

It was cold, but we shrugged off winter’s entropy and traded warmth for an hour of companionship. A hiker’s headlamp flickered through the trees on the far side of the valley, telling us we weren’t alone in the pleasure of a winter evening. Nearly so, though. Three cars passed by, the drivers intent on home. Jets passed over, their red lights alien, the people in them utterly remote from our reality.

About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
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