Monday, October 12, 2009

sunday climbs

A chilly Sunday morning in early Spring. The sun is still low over the distant hills, its warmth not yet able to penetrate the fog. Mist sits idly in the valleys that stretch out in a fading, pale sequence of ploughed fields, some neatly striped with the greenery of market gardeners. The road plummets into the frosty air. At 85 kilometers an hour I dive. My freewheel is not buzzing – I am pedalling like fury. The air is tearing the warmth from my grimacing face and howling through the slots in my helmet. Below me, two white, red and grey streaks clear against the black bitumen, are my companions. They vanish into the trees that surround a gully creek. I swoop past them in an aero-tuck as they sit up to catch the air. Stand and power up a short rise, then ease off. The incline brings me to a gentle glide. Downshift, then soft-pedal in the little ring to the top, coasting to a halt at a deserted junction.

A stream is trickling through the undergrowth. Magpies tunefully call to one another from the canopy above the way. In the ditch beside the road a small but cheerful chorus of froglets is chirping. Horses stand silently under musty green jackets, their heads lowered to the due laden grass. I hear the quiet buzz of the gears as first one, then the other of my friends approaches. We all stop and listen to the morning.

Where would you rather be?

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