|Lake Champlain sunset.|
1. When the sun kisses the Adirondacks.
Sunsets are special on Lake Champlain. I make it a point to ride along the waterfront on summer evenings so I can pause, put one foot on a rail or straddle my bike, and watch the ball of gold, orange, or even red if it's an especially hot day, slide down the New York side, glimmering across 10 miles of water. Sunsets the world over hold the power to entrance, but the view from Burlington is poignant. There are very few places in hilly Vermont where uninterrupted views stretch that wide. Lake Champlain, provides a sense of serenity; its sunsets are to-die-for. Lucky me.
2. Late morning in Provence.
After riding in southern France last year, I've come to appreciate the sun-worshipper's' paradise, which is Provence. It's a dry climate, full of luscious fragrance and harvests. I loved pedaling late morning. Muscles are warmed. It's not too hot. Olive trees are sage-colored with distance hills shining in purple pastels. There is always a breeze. It's the moment when I feel like I could pedal a 100 miles. Throw in a row of plane trees and I'm in heaven.
3. Enough nourishment and a camping spot within grasp.
Food has special significance to a touring cyclist. I daydream about food while I'm pedaling and especially strawberry daiquiris when it's humid. And more often than not, by early afternoon I want to know where we will spend the night. Given my normal tent travels with flexible mileage, or—heaven forbid—throw in a major bike problem, locating a campsite and food before dinnertime can be a monumental task. But occasionally things work out without a hitch and it's all the sweeter because I used my two legs to power my adventure. If I'm lucky there might even be a place to buy a beer. I have, however, given up on the idea of a daiquiri.
|Sorry, no photo of husband with steaming mug. I made this brew on a solo trip last summer.|
I could name many special sights on our worldwide travels (Taj Mahal, Himalayas come to mind), but nothing is as comforting as waking in a foreign land to the sound of a hissing stove. It means my husband has risen and is heating water for coffee. Sure, he rattles pots. Nor do I mind that it's dawn on a hot day. It's the ceremony that counts, a bonding agent that means "drink the familiar, then let's pedal and see what's around the bend". Most days, even 20 years later, my love thoughtfully hands a steaming mug to the tent door. Or, maybe he's just trying to wake me up. But as a woman, I'll pretend there's more to it than that.
5. Feeling strong and forgetting to turn into my workplace.
I relish that sweet spot every Spring when my legs have acclimated to commuter riding. It means my mind can now wander and ponder all the things I've been meaning to think about that only happen when I ride a bike. Like bike overnights. I wonder where that bird spends the night. Or, what to do about a problem child. Heavy or light subjects—doesn't matter. Is it time to look for another job? Speaking of work, why did I just pass the turn?
What bicycle moments would you savor?