February 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
I drove out to Davis, CA yesterday to bicycle. I never thought I’d be one of those people with a hobby that required traveling long distances and big blocks of time, but here it is. Me craving a long bike ride on a sunny day in the country so bad I drove an hour to get it. I almost didn’t go it seemed so silly, but through a series of rationalizations (people drive far to snowboard and ski all the time!) and a gnawing itch to move, I got over it and made it happen. I put my bike in the backseat, texted a few folks who might want to come, and turned up “Don’t stop me now” by Queen and imagined the warm sun and flat endless roads..
Now, the universe must of really wanted me to have a good time yesterday, because the heavy fog that started in Dixon on the 80 and spread out to god knows where dissipated by the time we were ready to set out. My friend Arnold, who hasn’t had a bike for months, was able to bum one from another friend who conveniently had a road bike locked up on the side of house with a combination lock… a house which I might add had ample parking due to the three day weekend. The weather was unmistakably perfect with variable breezes that tickled your nose, a few decoratively puffy clouds that would cover up the sun just as you were getting too warm, and the temperature hovering at a very agreeable 64 degrees.
It’s a funny thing what relativity can do to your appreciation of a thing. When I went on a bike ride last weekend in Berkeley, the whole experience was different – lots of stop and go, cars cutting corners that you happen to be on.. all in all a kind of stressful experience. This weekend in comparison can only be described as freedom.
We took Stevenson Bridge Rd. to Putah Creek Rd. into Winters. It’s flat with the exception of a single freeway underpass, and thoroughly endless in the best possible way – like the world is beautiful and awesome and no matter how far you go, you will only continue to discover things that give you great contentment and compel you to go further.
Pedaling. A thoroughly mundane task in a gym or in your living room, but a sweet satisfying cadence is pure pleasure when the surroundings are right. Most of the area outside of Davis is farm land – walnut trees, fields of green grass and yellow flowers, and a low horizon of mountains. Birds flock on trees from one row of trees on the right side of the road to another row of trees on the left, chirping and squawking in indecision or glee. On a good part of the ride, we skirted the bank of Putah Creek and you could see squirrels and birds traversing the banks.
My favorite part of that ride is the smells. Fresh cut grass, forest floor after a light rain, fragrant flower, lively riverbank, all tantalizing your nose to breathe deep and appreciate (also, giving you great new ideas if you happen to have a job naming shampoo fragrances). It was a welcome change to the car exhaust and nothingness smells that permeate Berkeley.
To top it all off, the only DDR machine within miles of Davis was in Winters at the Pizza Factory. We enjoyed some BBQ chicken pizza (not my favorite, but my ravenous appetite didn’t mind) and I schooled Arnold at DDR. Ding!
Ended the day with a pint of Boont and some bookstore loitering wondering why the hell I don’t do this more often.