Yesterday dawned so beautifully warm and sun-drenched, I actually put on a t-shirt. Then I remembered that I lived here, and put on a jacket, too. Still, it was invigorating for a moment to think that the sunlight might mean that our long, sloshy winter was over.
I’d like the long, sloshy winter to be over both literally, and figuratively. For nearly six months, I’ve been struggling with problems at work of the sort that keep reappearing, just as I think I’ve shaken them. The best part is that they aren’t even really my problems. What I really want, at this point, is just for the sun to come out and stay out, thanks very much.
Since my car was fixed and my rack was replaced, I was ready to roll. I thought of all my local rides, places that might be sunniest and prettiest and easiest. The answer was obvious: the Sammamish River Trail. So off I went to Marymoor Park.
Look at that shiny new bumper!
Anyway, the ride felt great. Really, really great. All my fussiness and tension seemed to melt away when I got on my bicycle. For the first time in a long while, I knew I was thinking clearly. And despite the new-camera-ness of the universe, I didn’t want to stop.
But then, of course, I did anyway. I have photographic obligations now, you know.
The river wound its way beside me in a glorious ribbon of blue, as if the ground had just opened up and let the sky through from beneath the earth.
Parts of the trail were crowded with people, forcing me to ring my bell as least a dozen times in 100 feet, but then I’d get to the stretches in between the parking areas, and the trail would open up again.
I was peddling hard and fast, working my snow-addled legs and pushing my lungs. For weeks I’ve been stuck in the house. For months I’ve been dealing with problems at work that aren’t of my own creation. It was time to kick out the jams!
Unlike my last Samammish River ride, I didn’t see any wildlife. The trail was too crowded, and the sun was still too high in the sky.
The new camera, which is proving to be just as fantastic as I expected, allowed for sun-soaked photos of both bike and scenery.
Of course, it wasn’t until I got it home that I realized I’d had the ISO set at 800 the entire time, which meant I had to do a lot of noise-reduction in Photoshop. But otherwise, I think the photos speak for themselves! Or they better, as my “Photo Voice” is really ridiculously high-pitched and embarrassing, much like the voice I use to talk to my cat. “Ew are a wittle photo, aren’t ew? OOOOOOO, you’re soooo adorable! How did you get so adorable?”
For more thoughts on my new camera, you can head on over to Snapbugblog and check out my photos and initial impressions.
I spent most of the ride mulling over big concepts: life, work, and where I want to be in my future. Recently, I’ve decided that I’d like to do some sort of ridebloggian book. I don’t really know how to start going about that, though, so it’s more of a niggling idea in the bag of my mind (“bag of my mind” is a typo, but it’s so apt that I left it!). I envision a “Tales from the Trails” sort of format, with rides around the Northwest that I haven’t taken before (and they are many) and gorgeous photographs. The problem is, I’m not sure if I should just go do the rides and then pitch the completed book, or pitch something using the work I’ve already done here. Considering that I have a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and have worked as a professional writer, screenwriter and writing teacher, I feel very stupid about this.
This conundrum occupied my mind for a while, as well as mulling over magazines that might be a good fit for my writing. I haven’t found any yet, but I’m no expert in magazines. Locally, I looked at Sunset and at Seattle Magazine and Seattle Met, but they’re all short-feature based. None of them seem like they would publish what rideblog essentially involves: a story. Yet the publishers of short fiction aren’t really appropriate either. Rideblog isn’t exactly a memoir, and it’s not really travel writing, either.
The web, of course, is the perfect place to publish what I write, and I’m eternally grateful that this format exists. Well do I remember the world before the internet: that was the place I graduated into, where giant publishing companies and uber-powerful agencies controlled most of the print media on Earth. Today, small companies proliferate. Self-published titles actually sell, and sometimes a self-published writer even makes it big. Like the music industry, the publishing industry is a dinosaur that seems too big, and too entrenched, to react to the epic changes occurring in the way we consume media. I’d like to throw my lot in with those toothy, nimble, big-brained little mammals, if I might. But first I have to find them!
By the time I’d reached the nine mile mark, it was obvious I needed to turn around and return home, or I wouldn’t be able to pick up my son in time. There was just one problem.
I’d been riding like the wind, racking up miles with effortless rapidity. I thought this was because my body was burning to ride, and my mind was clear and focused.
Nope: there was a tail wind. Ain’t that just the way?
It took me twice as long to ride home as I expected, facing a headwind so stiff that roadies struggled to pass me (sometimes calling out “Quite a wind, eh?” as they churned slowly by). By the time I arrived back at the parking lot, I was exhausted and sweaty, and the glorious sunshine was in full retreat.
In the distance, the white tents set up for the horse-based circus show Cavalia were lit against the pink of the setting sun and the edges of the distant mountains. I paused to snap their picture.
Ahead, the future is always unexpectedly beautiful, a perpetual sunset. The only view we know for certain is the one in our rear view mirror.