Day 32 miles to/from work: 28.8
Total miles for S4S: 848.8
She's a bright night train layin' brand new track.
~ Paul Cebar
You need background music for this post, so please, indulge me. Click the arrow on the video to the left and enjoy one of my favorite musical artists, Paul Cebar, as you read.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I got a 1000-lumen light for Silver Beauty last week and just charged and installed it this past weekend. The bike "headlight" I had been using was 300 lumens. If you have been driving your car at night while having someone run in front of you with a birthday candle to light the way, you have some idea of the challenge I faced on those evenings I came home in the dark. Although Silver Beauty and I left for work this morning in the light of a dazzling sun, I was almost giddy at what awaited me on the return trip.
My legs were far better than Friday, but not fully fresh. Saturday Scott had mercilessly prodded me on a ride (17-mile round-trip) in gale force winds with promises of good beer and great company. Not like that took a lot of lashes with the bull whip. First we biked to a bar (but not a biker bar) near campus and watched the Badgers going all Hannibal Lechter on Indiana's ass. Then we rode to our friends', the Wiesners', house for their annual Homecoming party. It was awesome, with all the fun, interesting people (including the host and hostess) and excellent beer anticipated.
Sunday I did nothing more active than what was required to haul my body out of bed and get it to places that provided food and drink.
The ride in this morning was a chilly 40 degrees, but I was dressed for it. The tiny bit of headwind was docile compared to the gale force wickedness of Friday and Saturday. The sun was bright, the sky was blue, and riding a bike once again felt like a child's gift rather than a grown-up duty. The going was a little slower than the norm, but completely enjoyable.
Then... at last, time to ride home for the big spotlight show. At 5:30 the sun was starting to dip and the sky darken. I had to go by Walgreen's, so that gave twilight more opportunity to set in. Way before I took a little detour by Machinery Row bikes, my new light was flaring in full force. Oh, the glory! No Hollywood klieg light has ever shown with such radiance. I offer my abject apologies to oncoming cyclists and runners who were struck blind and fell to the side of the path. I am not certain, but I think I saw three shepherds approaching, shielding their eyes and shrinking back as Silver Beauty and I blasted past.
Now I know how locomotives and their conductors feel cutting through the black of the night in a luminous blaze. Ethereal. Liberated. On fire. I am eternally grateful for the great good fortune to even once experience being a bright night train. (Well, for great good fortune and free shipping from Amazon.com. They're not always easy to distinguish from one another.) I'm fired up at the very thought that I might very well experience that luminescence again tomorrow.