“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”

I’ve returned from my trip to the big city. Traffic was light so I had nothing to curse about.

Today is another beautiful day, as perfect as yesterday, our reward for the rain and the cold. It is lovely, warm and sunny, but the weatherman says a heat wave is on its way. The other night it was in the 30’s and now we can expect the high 80’s. I had the heat on the other morning for a short while and soon enough I’ll be cranking up the air-conditioner.

My red car is lime green as is the deck. Both are covered in pine pollen. The deck is so covered I can see Gracie’s paw prints and my footprints. A cloud of green pollen wafts off the pine trees into the air when any breeze blows. If this were an old sci-fi movie, it would be radiation of sorts released into the air by aliens (I just couldn’t resist). I have only one window opened, the one in my bedroom, because I don’t want every surface in the house covered in green. I’m enjoying the sun, but a good heavy rain storm is great to clear the trees; however, I don’t think there are any in the forecast. I’ll just have to survive the green invasion of the pine pollen.

When I was a kid, this time of year was one of my favorites. I could start riding my bike to school. The to school was all downhill from my street to a smaller hill, more of an incline, around the corner then a straight shot to school. The bike racks were wooden and under trees in the school yard. I didn’t have a lock, none of us did. We just pushed our front tires into the rack and there the bikes stayed all day. The ride home was a bit more strenuous. The incline was an easy ride, but the hill to my house wasn’t. I’d start at the bottom sitting in my seat then I’d have to stand to pedal harder. I’d try and try to get to my house without getting off, but this time of year I didn’t make it. I’d have to get off about half-way up, when the hill got steeper, and walk my bike the rest of the way. Soon enough, though, with all that riding, my legs got stronger and finally I could ride right up to grassy hill in front of my house, the grassy hill sacred to my father. I’d push the bike up the hill and around the back. That time of year the bike stayed outside in the backyard unless it rained. I’d lean the bike against the rail, pull my books out of the basket on the front, run inside, change into my play clothes and go back outside to ride some more. Spring and early summer days were the best for bike riding.

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6 Comments on ““It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Glad the trip to the big city was relatively traffic free. It’s a pretty day so perhaps all the tourists are either gone back home or already at some touristy destination.
    I’m pretty sure we rode our bikes all year as long as the weather wasn’t absolutely foul. If the roads were plowed, the bikes were allowed. Possibly we could do this because my father rode a motorcycle all winter long when he was a young man. He didn’t see anything odd about bicycling in the cold weather.
    The jeep is home. It’s not fixed but it can be driven. I await the insurance adjuster who will probably call it a total because it’s 9 years old and has high mileage. I’ll deal with that when it comes. I’m just happy to have some wheels again.
    I’m so happy that I actually fed the birds. I never feed them in summer but I had bird seed in the back of the jeep and I have to clean out the car anyway so they get an unexpected feast.
    Enjoy the rest of the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I even found a parking place right in front of the building. That was a gift from the parking God.

      I remember riding to the store for something on Christmas Eve so we did ride in the winter, but they took in the bike rack during the deep winter so mostly they walked to school.

      I’m glad your jeep is home but sorry it may be totaled.

      I feed the birds all year, but I haven’t seen many in the last few days. I wonder where they are.

      Have a great afternoon!!

  2. olof1 Says:

    The pines are still calm here but if it stays as warm as it is now they will soon let go of all that green yellowsih pollen. Well I guess they’ll get some help from all the spruces as well 🙂

    I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a night as warm as in the 80’s, it rarely rise above 60F here. I like our cool nights because the flies stays calm when we take our morning walk.

    Yes this part of the year was the best but I only had around 50 yards to school so I rarely used it then 🙂 I did however use my bike all summer when I started to work. As soon as the temperature rose above 32F in the morning I rode my bike and I stopped when it was around the same temperature later in the year. Too far to work now days to use the bike though, That distance and my fitness would be a deadly combination I fear 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I hate that pollen. My backyard is filled with pine trees. Short of having them all cut down, there is little I can do but stay inside. I won’t touch the deck until it is all gone.

      There aren’t many nights that hot here either, but they do get in the 70’s and in August a few in the 80’s. The days in the 80’s are just awful, stifling.

      I stopped riding about 10 years back. We have a great bike trail from here in Dennis all the way down Cape to the end. I used to do the whole route a couple of times a year and parts of it the rest of the time.

      Have a great night!!

  3. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat from Chile,
    Here it has rained steadily for the last couple of days accompanied by cool weather. It’s fall here and my students tell me that it gets down to freezing in mid winter in July.

    If I were you I would take your car to the car wash tomorrow because pollen left on the car will ruin the finish. The green pollen on the red paint must look very Christmas like.

    I wonder what it is like to celebrate Christmas or Chanukah here in the heat of summer with long days and short nights. Somehow caroling in shorts and tee shirts in the sunlight on Christmas Eve is a different holiday spirit.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      You’ve been there a while. I hope you’ve had some time to sightsee a bit.

      When I did South America during, I also hit winter when I crossed the equator. It was strange not to have summer that year.

      Tomorrow I have to go off cape to Boston, but I will take my car on Thursday. Thanks for letting me know.

      When I was in Ghana, it was really hot at Christmas time. It seemed so strange not to have cold or the hope of snow. We decided that the first Christmas must have had similar weather as we did. That was our way to compensate.

      It was my first Christmas in Ghana, and I remember sitting outside on Christmas Eve and seeing the sky ablaze with stars, more than I’d ever seen here. There was no light to detract from the heavens, and I could see the whole Milky Way. I still associate the starriest nights with that first Christmas away from home.

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