Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our last ride of spring

Date: April 21 and 22
Mileage: 40 and 29.2
April mileage: 536
Temperature: 42 and 45

I traced the emerging trail beneath a canopy of spruce trees, dripping snowmelt and strings of moss onto still-frozen mud. I reconnected with the paved bike path and rolled back to Geoff, who was parked on a bench and inhaling a sandwich.

"Still a lot of snow back there?" he asked.

"It won't be too long now before this town has real mountain biking," I said.

"Not soon enough," he said. He held out the remaining piece of sandwich. Tuna and mayo on pumpernickel bread. I wrinkled my nose. "How bout a Tootsie Roll then?"

I took the chilled piece of candy and popped it in my mouth. It was meaty and a little bit stale from possibly a few too many rides in Geoff's coat pocket. I kicked a piece of ice onto the grass, short and dead in April. I wasn't even thinking about the promise of May. I was wondering why there weren't corpses of August flowers everywhere. "I can't believe you're willing to leave this all behind," I said.

Geoff smirked. "It's not too late to come with me."

"Yes it is."

"What do you think you'll do?" he asked.

I shrugged. "I'm pretty sure I'm going to quit biking. I think I'll get some Direct TV or whatever the cable companies are pushing these days, and put in some good time on the couch with Bon-Bons."

"Bon-Bons?"

"Ok, Cheetos. And Coco Puffs straight from the box. The works. I'm really going to put in the hours this summer. Next time you see me, you're not even going to recognize me."

"You'll have to get a working TV first."

"I hear they sell those at stores these days."

Geoff laughed and looked away. "Whatever. You're probably exicted not to have me around bothering you and trying to feed you real food anymore. I know you're just going to end up riding 100 miles every day."

"I wish it was as easy as that," I said.

Geoff reached into his coat pocket. "You want another Tootsie Roll?"

"No," I said. I squinted at his watch. "Is it really noon?" He nodded. "I really have to go," I said. "I'm going to be late for work. How much further are you going?"

"I'm going to try to get 100 today," Geoff said. He stuck the Tootise Roll in his mouth and we rode together to the end of the bike path. I turned back and he kept going, toward summer.

Long summer.