Thirty mile per, winds blow cold
Stinging my face
Leaves long since departed the aspen trees.
Why do I still come out here?
The air is crisp.
Every layer, a blessing.
I needed today, more so than before
I wanted to ride out, leave memories in the past
I wanted to ride forward, into the terrain of the present.
A single aspen leaf remains
Blowing, clinging, flapping wildly on the branch
A lonely holdout before the turn of the season.
I pull down the right side my headband, my ear throbs otherwise
I push down my right leg,
8500 feet, sea level a distant thought
I turn into a rise
Mt. Baldy, now in view
Vestiges of winter past – rest in bowls awaiting refill
Ice resting in empty glasses on tables at my favorite restaurant
Like the one in New Orleans with him on that summer day
No one is here now, just me and Brett D
Someday, heart resonates
I join him in silence, no breath to spare for song
I turn down to a place of ease, grateful for the coast
Mind flashes more: Another moment I fell in love.
I was cycling then, too
Empowered by 950 cc’s
I watched his torn Joe Rocket jacket disappear into a Stove Prairie switchback
Some warmer August day
I push down again, another rise awaits. Right leg pushes.
Heels down, breath expels.
I breathe in, deeply – 200 feet upwards, more sea level, forgotten.
I turn to glimpse the sign, the googlie-eyed moose
Yellow backdrop – thank you, CDOT.
I glance northward, Mt. Audobon looms large.
I gasp again, push harder, ever so slow.
Granite rock chipmunk, my only friend.
When did the granny gear feel a weight I could not carry?
I tighten my torso, stand on my pedals
Perhaps it’s the weight on my heart.
Another rise come soon
Ponderosa Pine, my future.
Past it, I want to go.
On to Ward, past the flyman house.
Today, if the sky holds and my heart clears
I can make it to Jamestown
Today, if the wind calms and the sun will warm
I can feel myself on the pavement.
Today, if the breath in these Rockies will blow out the detritus in my heart,
the sky will open into tomorrow,
where new moments lie in wait…