Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.

The atv path I ride my bike on all the time passes right by a neighbour’s house. He can see the trail through the trees from his driveway.

Over the past few years he’s seen me out on the path on a bike at pretty much every time of year and day and in any weather. When I’m headed towards home along the path it’s uphill, so I am going slow enough for the ‘neighbour wave’ or head nod.

The other day it was raining to beat the band, the mud trail was an absolute mess, and it was cold – hovering just above freezing. A spectacularly miserable day to be on a bicycle. As I was going by he waved from his driveway, shook his head a bit, laughed, and said, “Is there any time you won’t ride a bike?”

“Still trying to find the most-funnest time,” I said, smiling and waving back.

January Check

The Missus finished a batch of masks for a coworker so at lunch today I decided to hop on the Cross Check to deliver them to the office. I looked out the window and saw the sun, but it was deceptive – it was really cold out with the wind. Got to the office and was happy get my hands under some hot water in the sink to warm them up a bit. Whew but it stung though. Remember to check the wind chill, kids.

I took this photo and then on the way home was wondering if I’d ever had this bike out in January before. Dug back through the ride logs and photos and only found one other time back on January 26, 2019. I’d say it was global warming, but it was still damn cold today, even though we haven’t had much snow this year.

Was nice to spin the skinny tires on the ‘fast’ bike for the first time in a long time. Here’s the snaps from the ride in 2019.

The Cross Check remains the most versatile bike in the stable.

Ride the Sun Up

Got out for the usual weekend ride. Some beavers had felled a tree across the trail, so I followed their drag marks down to the river and sat there for a bit. Took a bunch of pictures at few minute intervals of the same ridge of trees trying to catch the sun lighting them up. Did some yoga and stretching in-between. The little white speck in the bottom left corner of the photos that looks like dirt is a reflection of the Moon in the river. Then basically followed the sun coming up down the Nashwaak River to the Saint John before meeting up with Titus for a trip out to Oromocto and back. Post-ride root beer in the Clubhouse was sublime.

Universal Truth #1,437: when you are chasing the sun coming up down the Nashwaak River to its confluence with the Saint John, it really doesn’t matter that you never get to know who wins. (Note: Your results may vary. Can be applied to other rivers, trails, alleys. Test on a piece of scrap wood to ensure desired results. Offer not valid with any other offer. Proof of purchase required. Don’t try this at home, use only in a well ventilated area and only under hip-hop supervision. -Ed.)

The Movie of My Life

Got out to meet Titus for a ride today. On my way I stopped on the walking bridge across the Nashwaak River to watch for a bit and I was talking to myself as I usually do. I was actually talking out loud, so people – if there were any around – could’ve heard me. Then it occurred to me that I had no idea ‘who’ was talking. I don’t know who was talking really, or whom that person was talking to. Who was even listening? Who is the person hearing it? Sam Harris tells a funny story about this. When we are talking to ourselves – why are we talking to ourselves? We already know what we’re thinking – why do we tell it back to ourselves?

It occurred to me that in a way, my life is like a movie that I am both the only director and only audience of. Sometimes the other actors in my movie don’t follow or respond to direction. This can equate to suffering, if you choose to let it. Or not.

The last four photos of this were a bit of an accident. I got down this hill and expected Titus to come barreling down it, which I thought would make for a great photo. He was taking forever to show up, then he appeared – walking. He’d decided to walk a tricky section.

Damn actors, not following direction. What’s one to do?

Ok. Film is rolling.

Ridge Runners

Out for a nice mixed-surface ride with Andrew and Kelly. Up and over Keswick Ridge, Mactaquac Dam and the St. John River. Some nice views and excellent weather. Oh, and I brought leftover pizza as a snack. Had to soak my knees afterwards in the pool to quiet them down. From my CABC Instagram post:

Got out for a CABC social ride with club members @spoke_n_words and @kelly.lynn.murray today. We attended mass at the Church of the Saint John River by riding up one side of it, crossing, then back the other side. The ol’ St. John has an interesting congregation, a few of which we ran into at an early morning gas station coffee stop where one of the local parishioners kindly offered to ‘roll us a bone’, At 8:44am. Although obviously a truly compassionate and charitable soul, we opted not partake – you know, UCI rules and all. I informed him that I was indeed, high on life, and asked if he’d accepted @gary_fisher as his lord and personal savior. He had not, so I gifted him with my tattered copy of The Rider and we parted in peace – I on my trusty Surly Cross Check – he in his jacked to the sky pick-em-up truck which, I believe, was sporting a pair of truck nuts. We’re all members of the same tribe, us humans, even if we fly different flags. The weather, views, and conversation were sublime and Kelly even managed to avoid any untoward confrontations with mutant canines. Perhaps the ‘off-piste-de-resistance’ was a delicious repast of some left-over pizza I’d brought with, which, if I’m not mistaken, is the official ride food of the gods. I arrived home feeling saintly, purified, transformed and indeed, saved. I immediately baptized my knees in the icy waters as they were completely full of hellfire and damnation. Some of this is true, some myth – use your divine inspiration to determine which is which. Hallelujah brothers and sisters, can I get an amen?

Cartoon Creatures

Took a ride with Titus out the Lincoln Trail and Post Road to our Fredericton Junction coffee spot. We voiced cartoon voices along the way for all the animals we encountered (because Saturday Morning Cartoons, right?) which consisted of bald eagles, a heron, squirrels, ducks, turkey vultures, sheep, a goat, and various dogs. You know when you’re in the Clubhouse before the ride in the morning and it’s still dark out it’s going to be a good day. Post-ride snacks were excellent.