Thunder rumbles in the distance, but the sun is still shining. Every now and then the wind gusts, the leaves rustle. Maybe the storm is finally headed this way.
But then it is calm again, with only the buzzing of insects and the faint noise of a motorboat speeding down the lake to disturb the silence. Thunder rumbles again, but doesn’t grow any nearer.
All is green, lush, dense. Parts of the trail are reminiscent of riding through a jungle. Briers lean out and scratch my legs every now and then.
Summer is here. There’s a comfortable warmth and humidity in the air. After this past winter, I’m thankful to not be cold. And yet, I’m still not too hot. It’s perfect.
I stop at the trail intersection. Do I turn towards home or do I continue heading farther away? I opt for the longer ride. I have much to think about, stresses to relieve, alone time to be had. A busy work schedule and never-ending list of things to do means not enough time as I’d like to just go ride. So tonight, I must make the most of it.
It’s been a while since I’ve been all the way at the end of the south side of the Allegrippis, on Allegheny Trail. I tend to favor the north end of the trails, and it’s refreshing to be somewhere slightly unfamiliar, where I don’t know every single bend and root.
By the end of Allegheny, my head clears. Problems are solved, at least more so than they were when I began. Just in time to head home.
I ride for a lot of reasons—for enjoyment, for camaraderie, for exercise, for mental release—because somehow, pedaling through the woods makes me feel a whole lot better about everything.
Tonight reminded me of all of that, of why I ride, and of how thankful I am that I discovered the wonders of the bicycle.