Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer in the Mid-Atlantic

Well, it's come a little early this year. Sometimes it holds off until July or even August if we're lucky, but this year, it's mid June and the humidity and heat are here. Not my idea of fun at all. I grew up in the region, but I've lived a lot of other places, and honestly, I prefer summer most other places I've lived. The slightest activity leaves me soaking wet and tired.... and working in a shop where we generally keep the a/c off most of the time, it's pretty challenging some days. Thank god for fans!

Riding isn't much fun this time of year either. The air feels heavy with moisture... you feel like you are having to push through the damp like a boat at sea. Breathing is harder, due to the heaviness, and the fact that pollution levels rise at this time as well. And while riding along on the flat or a downhill isn't so bad, when you come to a stop your clothes are instantly soaked through and you feel the heat rising off the pavement and from the tailpipes of the cars around you. It makes me miss the cold of winter. At least then my cycling warmed me up and made things better.

Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch. The thing to remember though is that I am out there... riding my bike. It's been one of my favorite things in the world since I first learned how. So I try to stop and remind myself what a gift it is to be able to simply ride, whatever the weather. I watched the movie Venus recently on DVD... starring Peter O'Toole. It tells the story of a man (and his friends) very late in life. Watching it reminded me that being able to hop on my bike and simply ride off somewhere is not something I should take for granted.

But of course, being human, that doesn't stop me from complaining about truly silly things like the weather from time to time. The trick is to catch oneself and remember the joy of just being here. And riding.

1 comment:

E.Wurzel said...

Boy,you're not wrong. Summer in Northern Virginia is an ordeal for this transplanted Brit.

Rode into work from Sterling to Rosslyn this afternoon and it was brutal. Riding back this evening was better, even if I spent much of the way being battered in the face by bugs.