I took a day off yesterday. My plans were loose, but included getting some things done around the house and running some errands in the morning followed by a ride during the warmer afternoon hours.
I had extended an invitation to the fellas, but no takers. That was until I received a call just before Noon from JB. He said he could move some things around and meet me at 2PM. Excellent! I love a day off!
At that point, I got serious about knocking the rest of my errands off the list. Kroger, check. Gas, check. Target, check. Lunch at Chipotle, check. I love a day off!
There was one thing left to do: get a haircut. As I started the truck to head that way, my phone started ringing. It was my son’s school. No es bueno. Yup, my boy, who I am fortunate to say is rarely sick, had a sore throat and a fever. Looks like my day off was getting a reroute.
I called JB to let him know my ride plans were either cancelled or at the very least delayed. I picked up T, brought him home for lunch, and took him to the doctor for good measure. I called JB to update him on my projected start time, but it was too late for him. Dang. Looks like if I ride at all, it will be solo.
After getting home from the doctor, I got prepared to go. My wife got home about 3:30 and I hit the road shortly thereafter. I arrived at Powhite Park and hit the trail around 4PM. With no lights, that only gave me an hour and change of daylight.
As I dropped in, I saw a couple of other guys gearing up. The air was a lot cooler than I expected, but once I got pedaling it wasn’t bad. I encountered one rider and her black lab and then the two from the parking area. Turns out one of them was on a unicycle. Even though I was on the uphill, I pulled to the side and waved him on. As far as I am concerned, he is one wheel closer to being a pedestrian than I and he has the right of way. Besides, that’s just hard core and I wanted to watch him ride by.
After that, I was all alone in the park, or so it seemed. As the setting sun signaled the end of my ride nearing, I stopped for a break. Aside from the distant white noise of cars on Chippenham, the park was quiet and cold. It still amazes me how this tiny park nestled between busy roads, a hospital, townhomes, and old neighborhoods can really take you away if you let it.
I got back to the parking lot, which was empty except for my truck, loaded up my gear, and merged my way into Friday’s rush hour traffic. Unlike most rush hour drives though, this time I was relaxed and at ease. Even though things didn’t work out exactly as planned, it’s amazing what a little quiet time in the woods can do for one’s psyche. Oh, did I mention that I love a day off?