It’s one of those mornings when I simply don’t want to stop peddling – not for a sip of cool water, not for a rest, not fer nothin’. It’s a nice enough day, cool and no wind, no humidity whatsoever – nice enough that there are even other cyclists out this early in the morning. Around here, that’s unheard of. At 6 am, the roads are nearly always mine, and mine alone.
It’s springtime in Missouri. I’m excited because the Mulberry trees lining this quiet country road are just morphing into plump and purple and juicy looking fruit. I don’t want to stop, but I will – there are three or four trees down the road that always promise a sweet and bountiful harvest of fat mulberries, year in and year out.
Glancing down a side road, my reverie is momentarily lost and realize that yes, indeed, it is springtime in Missouri – apparently a time for spring cleaning. An obnoxious pile of refuse lies in the middle of the road. Clearly the landfill located 2 miles further down the road must have prove too great a driving challenge for some idiot to haul his load of rusted springs, cans, mattress parts and other detritus. So he dumped them right here, right in the center of the road.
To my left a rail line runs parallel to me. An impossibly long freight train paces me at a slow gait for minutes on end before disappearing magically into the distance, the clickety-clack slowly fading, and the only sound remaining in its wake is the chatter birds and the quiet buzz of my tires bouncing along this chip sealed road.
I don’t want to stop. I really, really don’t want to stop – not even to sketch, which is highly unusual for me. I figure I will have plenty of days to sketch in June as I journey across parts of France. This morning I just want to peddle.
It is somehow so easy to forget how beautifully serene a cool, still morning can be for riding. I feel like these are moments of simple discovery. And I don’t want to stop.