Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Twilight Riding

Twilight: the time of day immediately following sunset; "he loved the twilight"; "they finished before the fall of night"

For the past two nights, about 20 minutes after sunset (while there is still just enough light to see your way) I have gone for a bike ride. Throwing on my old BCBC sweater and my helmet I grab my '94 Specialized Hard Rock and go for a ride around my neighborhood. There is enough light to still see where you are going but enough darkness that things feel magical and special. I have always enjoyed this time. You feel like you can ride forever. The first time I went I took a little river trail a few blocks away and it was pure bliss. Tight, twisting singletrack coaxed me to pedal faster and faster. I dutifully obeyed. Beautiful.

Last night it was a bit too wet for the river so I stuck to the roads and sidewalks. Again I pedaled hard, an old and worshipful tune from Mortal reverbrating through my head and I pedaled for all I was worth. In that moment I felt alive, at peace, and close to God. It was a time of pure joy.

I love my bike. I love it's heavy old school steel frame that seems so indestructible yet has enough give to soak up the bumps. It feels "lively," if steel can be that way. It was my first bike that I bought with my own money and it has outlasted its modern successor that I bought several years later. They don't make many steel framed bikes anymore and it's a shame.

It's time to buy a new bike but I already know that I'm not giving up my old one. I have too many memories and I'm way too emotionally attached. The only other thing I have been this attached to was my old Suzuki Sidekick, but even that is not in the same league. I can't say I ever felt close to God driving my Sidekick (the opposite actually!), but I have felt that many times on my old red bike. It makes me smile everytime I get on it.


Jay Boaz said...

Have you thought about purchasing new parts and using your existing frame?

Anonymous said...

"Alive and Awake?" Is that what the Mortal song is called?


Mark said...

Jay, I have thought seriously about it, but I'm not sure how long the frame will hold out. I'm taking it into a bike shop to get an estimate this week.

Jacquie: "Alive and awake" is an awesome song, but this time it was "Invincible." I did used to get up to "Alive and Awake" when I was in college though - Dave Keene and I used to wake up terrified every morning!