08 November 2009

Riding With "The Girls"

The temperature rose to nearly 70 F today. And it was one of those days that ended with the autumn sun burnishing the horizon with an orange glow like a hearth smoldering over the bay.

So I'll give you three guesses as to what I did.

I did a slightly longer ride, this time on Arielle, my geared Mercian road bike. Now she has bragging rights: Tosca, my fixed-gear Mercian, got my first ride yesterday, but Arielle got the longer ride.

Plus, Arielle got to spend the ride with Barbara and Sue, who've been my sometime riding companions for the past few years. Arielle likes it when people admire her. I don't fault her for that: After all, it's a trait she inherited from her mistress.

Today's ride negotiated the curves of Vernon Boulevard toward the RFK (nee Triboro) Bridge and along the Greek restaurants, food stores and bakeries of Ditmars Boulevard to the road that leads to the bridge to Riker's Island. No, we didn't go there! (You can only cross that bridge on a bus or if you have a permit for your car.) Then, we made a couple of sharp turns and soon found ourselves next to LaGuardia Airport. From there, there's a nice promenade that rims the shoreline of Flushing Bay. Moored boats bobbed listlessly in the wakes of the few other boats that sluiced solar reflections flickering in the ripples in the waters beyond the marina.

At the end of the promenade, on the other side of the Grand Central Parkway from Citi Field, we stopped. A young couple was getting into a boat that didn't look like much more than a jet-ski with a bubble-top. A jet took off from La Guardia and seemed headed straight for us, for a moment anyway. And a black and white cat I've seen before slinked around the tires of our bikes. The cat's been there for at least ten years: I've ridden that promenade for about a dozen or so years, and can remember the cat from about that far back. He's surprisingly friendly--with me, anyway--and has a smoother, shinier coat than one would expect from a cat who seems to have spent his whole life outdoors.

After a few minutes, as the sun began to set, we started back to my place. By the time we parted ways, we'd ridden about a dozen miles. And I was feeling really good, save for a bit of soreness in my lower vaginal area. I tipped my seat ever-so-slightly downward just after I left my place. I guess I'll have to fiddle with the seat some more, at least for a while. But at least I felt energetic and the ride went almost effortlessly. Thank you, Barbara, Sue --and Arielle!