Sunday, October 31, 2010


last night was a perfect makeout night.

the wind, electric and unseasonably warm, breathed the possibility of rain but promised nothing. there was an eery glow to everything from blades of grass to gravel to light-stained night sky, and all of it was moving in the periphery. the wind gusted. there was the hum of cross tires on pavement, the crunch of gravel under wheels at an unknown speed, the thud of my heart from the work or the possibility of what i might meet at the lighthouse roundabout.

i love night rides.

night rides, particularly ones like last night, are all about pseudo-danger. i can't really see anything, like where i'm going or what's about to jump in front of me, or where the holes in the road might be. i won't be found by anyone if i go down hard. i have to ride according to all the other senses besides sight. and i'm riding faster than i should because i'm so damn excited. in all reality, nothing would happen. nothing did happen. but i felt like it was about to the entire time i was out there. and it was awesome.

i went for the ride because i needed to get out of the house. being cooped up on house arrest after so many lonely lame nights and without any motivation can really get to a guy, and i was that guy. i had no real focus. i was dissatisfied with the internet and all its shiny things that i can't afford. i was scared to read any further in the tragic beauty that is The Grapes of Wrath. i was tired from long days of parenting and cleaning and trying to be a good person in a city run by an asshole. i was warm and cozy and it was cold outside and it might even rain. i was whining. it was definitely time for a ride.

i rode down to the spit, taking full advantage of the warm tailwind and the luck with the lights. no one else was out on two wheels. i churned out the few miles to the gates, let myself through, and hammered into the eery glow. it looked like i was pedaling straight into The Road. amazing. i went out hard, gave it everything into the wind, and had phil liggett narrate the whole thing. i made it around the lighthouse without even slowing down, and headed back, straight into the wind.

as i spun easily down side streets back to the house, it occurred to me that i didn't need to buy anything. looking down in the darkness, i couldn't tell that i wasn't on my serotta. i couldn't tell that i needed a new chain or a tuned derailleur or those new fancy shifter hoods. i whipped around the lighthouse in the dark at full speed on gravel, the same gravel that dealt me my last flat, and i didn't need better tires. i braked lightly and pulled up in front of the house and chuckled, knowing i'd go right in and eat some ice cream and stretch and look on ebay for fancy things for bikes. but right then, for those beautiful minutes in the dark, i didn't need a damn thing.

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