Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Evening ride

I have always loved daylight savings time. As a kid, I remember adults hating to have to change their habits, one miserable hour lost until Fall. They sounded like they had lost their wallet, or something irreplaceable. For me it was freedom, spring, coming out all of a sudden of the endless gloomy northern Italian winter. Finally we were walking back to school with plenty of light left to play. Soon enough school would be over, it would be the time when the carnival hit town. That's when the very taste of air changed to a melange of warm air, poplar pollen and brittle from the nearby carnival. Night would not fall until way past our official bedtime.

I still greatly enjoy extra long days, but I have always considered myself a morning rider. Mornings feel so full of hope: the air is fresh, the body well rested, the mind still to asleep to rebel against the perspective exertion. The day lays ahead, virtually unlimited. As time goes by, it will be warmer, perhaps the sun will burn through the marine layer and, like somebody said there will be light. After work rides are fun and relaxing, but the feeling is quite different. I have already given my best to a thankless job, the sun is seriously thinking about splashing down in the ocean and the air is getting cooler by the minute. One has to think about returning before it gets too dark and dangerous for bikes that shed all those heavy lights or reflectors.

Maybe there's an underlying metaphor to this feeling. Sitting now comfortably in the warmth afternoon of life I might be pedaling down the slope of experience, but I pretty much know what lies ahead. Better pedal a little faster, to get where I want to be there on time, just before dusk.

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