Saturday, November 27, 2010

november ride

i worked at the university today
so gift of gifts
a quiet, peaceful take-my-time
frosty afternoon bicycle ride

the temperature somewhere below freezing
the birds flutter nervously
beneath clouds skittering
across a scattered sky

i allow the bike
to find its own speed.
the slope
coming southwards
is slightly downwards -
it's an old railway line

a route that must have
and enthralled
the people who rode it

now it enchants
and enthralls the many people
who use it
to move quickly
in a human-powered manner
into the countryside

it's lined with quiet waystations

places that beckon
to you as you roll past
and if
you are at all like me

you slow down
and turn your bicycle around
and venture off the trail
into the scrub
and into
these little places

where timelessness
and goodness
are the only tickets you'll need
to travel
to lands beyond
those we know
and where we are known

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

i also write a blog called "cycles: the journey within the journey"
it's for people who ride a bike because they have to
because they love to
and especially because
for undefinable and inexplicable reasons
they need to!


Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Glad to see your bike trips taking you onto this blog once in a while. My cycling discipline is being sorely tested by the onset of winter weather. Although it does not get bitterly cold here (lows these days of around 30ºF), it is always windy, always. And I know I don't have to tell you what that is like. Anyway, sometimes the last little shove of encouragement and discipline that gets me outside and on my bike is the inspiration and fine example I find on your 'cycles' blog. Thanks.

Bonnie said...

Your posts do encourage us to pay attention to the quiet waystations along our path ... good advice as there is so much to discover as the outer waystations awaken waystations within.

steven said...

ahhh lorenzo thankyou!!! the beauty of this riding season - well there's been a lot of beauty . . . but perhaps the nicest feature at this point is that for the most part, the roads are dry. yesterday there was lots of black ice and so my stomach and mouth were in knots as i tried to read the road ahead while focussing on sharing it with trucks and cars. however there are many places where the ride is secondary to the natural beauty and that makes it all entirely worthwhile!! steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - it's been a very special part of the writing of this blog - the sharing of the connection between the inner and outer waystations. i wish i knew what was next on the journey because this is just scratching the surface - but it'll arrive when it needs to. steven

Linda Sue said...

Biking in the freezing cold- How ever do you keep your hands warm - from slipping or freezing into claws?

Elizabeth said...

Dear Steven,
Sorry I haven't visited for ages but I'm so glad I did.
Yes, biking is wonderful for observing acutely as you do!
Thank you for a lovely post.

steven said...

linda sue - over the years i've learned how to dres for rides as cold as minus twenty nine celsius. the challenge isn't entirely how to keep warm either. it's how to manage the sweat that builds up. that's what's really hard. the most important piece are the road conditions. i've dropped enough times on busy streets to have developed a healthy respect for ice, suv's, and especially life!!! steven

steven said...

elizabeth!!! how lovely! i'm fifty three and a half now and the biking is even better now than it was ten years ago. i have better clothing, better lighting, abetter bikes and a better mind attached to eyes. all the better to see the world with!!! steven

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

What happened here? And over there, how did that occur? What made that formation so beautiful?

The exploration of "these little places" is every bit as magnificent as the pyramids. Thank you for sharing your magnificent photos.

Titus said...

Lovely, steven. The first shot looks like Dorothy, the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man should be dancing down it.

But your header scared the life out of me!

steven said...

hi jo! one of the reasons i enjoy riding alone is because i'm not an encumbrance to people who like to move at a good speed from place-to-place. i can be that person of course but there are times when being available to the little places is so good. it's a physical feeling - the excitement of seeing, and then also it's an opportunity to connect the dots between this place and another. then also it's about being in this world but not of it. seeing the goodness and the magic through the benfit of distance. i am privileged to share these words and photos and i thankyou so much for your own kind words. steven

steven said...

titus i looked at it again - the header and saw the great many tentacled grabby thing of nightmares!!! the path shot - yes it stretches for eight kilometres... somedays i'm on my own on it. other days i share it with bladers, cyclists, skateboarders, runners, walkers and then animals. it leads to the roads that lead north and east and west away from town. steven

Golden West said...

I love to hear of rights of way being converted to new uses. There's an elevated walkway in NYC that was once for trains that has been landscaped and opened for pedestrians. From some of the pictures I've seen, it affords some splendid city views. Old train routes, such as yours make wonderful paths!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Nice bike ride. I'll bet you warmed up nicely with the exertion. The lichen covered logs would be a stopping point for me too. Thanks for taking us along.