Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Poetic cycling

Posted by Frum Hiker on February 14, 2008

The wind rustled through the almost bare trees, it made a louder than normal yet peaceful sound. The crunch of the golden, brown leaves could be heard as the wind jostled the leaves together, the leaves held on for dear life as they saw their brethren lifted off their ever fraying roots and strewn about the ground as they were kicked into mini-cyclones of leaves, Styrofoam cups and the mornings left over newspaper sections. Every few minutes I was stunned at the silence only to have my mind quickly understand that the light had turned red and no, it wasn’t nuclear holocaust -since that appears the only way that one would be able to derive silence and peace from the city that never shuts up. Judging by the gentle hum of the tires and the lack of horns the traffic must have been moving at 40 mph. The lack of horns might be the reason for the convincing silence though I knew the silence as well as the darkness was fictitious. My island of peace lasted for about 30 seconds each time the light halted the masses, and prevented video game like driving from occurring on this park lined byway. These cyclones of garbage and summers last grasp rumbled about as I turned my attention elsewhere.

The mild night stifled the sounds of the leaves as they blended into a firestorm of traffic, every few minutes as the wind died down and the traffic appeared to halt silence regained its foothold only to be rudely pushed aside as the light turned green, a helicopter decided to land or a garbage cyclone decided to try and disturb the peace of this calm eavning. This calm evening when the polluted, algae laden waters of the grandiose Hudson River gently lapped at the piers lining the East shore as the crashing waves reflected light off the spires of economic wealth situated neatly across creating a mini city of residences and abandoned barges that could only be seen in the day time. The light almost seemed to be a fancy light knowing that while I my aching limbs rested on this slab of marble trying to create a sense of park like conditions in this mess of concrete, noise, screaming streaks of yellow taxis, and the red brake lights of everyone else who seemed to ignore the peace that these marble and granite slabs amidst newly planted trees that was trying to block out these images in the first place. Though darkness seemed to displace the surrounding never fading lights, and madness itself, it didn’t take long for the eyes to adjust to the illusion of darkness. Not only was it not dark, but once the sweat glazing over my retinas was swiftly wiped away with a rather smelly bike glove, my eyes were greeted with the simple fact that darkness could hardly exist in a place like this. Darkness could not creep into a city that prides itself on noise, light and zero greenery besides the never slowing green lights that grace the maze of roadways that zigzag the city like a pot of uncooked pasta spilled onto the kitchen floor.

I began to notice the orange light that illuminated the walkway that I had traveled down trying to escape the light. I had noticed how deceiving these lights could appear since they were on the sides of the path creating darkness in evenly spaced intervals so just for one second the passerby was hidden in utter darkness until abruptly the symphony of darkness was ended and another lamppost appeared. The quiet could also be noticed when one was lost in their thoughts. Deep in the meditation of the constant circles made by their feet while propelling a bicycle or maybe the constant beat of their fancy sneakers on the asphalt as they steadily, under their own power ran into the night. Maybe, just maybe under these meditations of the heart beating rapidly and the sweat slowly collecting in the belly button or folds of their extra fat that was gained at last nights dinner of fried wings and micro brews, this may lead to peace. Not only inner peace, but I too admit that while my legs quickly whitening legs fading from summers tanning pumped away at my pedals, and sweat was wiped away from my brow every couple minutes, and my breaths were shortened, and my camel back bladder was slowly emptying its contents into my esophagus trying to hydrate and cool my body, I gained peace, a peace that is quite rare in the cacophony of noise and madness that greets ones eyes, ears and body anytime they set out from their shells of concrete and try to discover peace, a peace that is almost impossible, and very pricey if sought unnaturally possibly through the spa, massage parlor or luxurious restaurant.

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3 Responses to “Poetic cycling”

  1. s(b.)/gotv said

    neat, man. that really makes me want to go get a camelbak. I’ve been thinking a winter model would be better for keeping drinks cold in the summer. And a new brake pad for my bike. As tempted as I am to just glue it, I know I should really go get a new one.

  2. Frum Hiker said

    Nah the normal camelbacks keep your drinks pretty warm, even in Utah it isn’t too bad.

  3. s(b.)/gotv said

    good to know. saw this, thought of you:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/15/nyregion/15preserve.html?ex=1360818000&en=e4cde6cdcfe7a8bc&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

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