We finally had a nice, ridable day again today. I took to the streets during my lunch hour and made a point of staying off the bike path. I did this for a couple of reasons; the path is most likely strewn with soggy leaves - and - I didn't want another ride like the one I experienced on Friday the 6th.
I can't fully describe the odd experience I had that day when I used my lunch hour to ride the path I used to take to work. I wanted to get out and ride, but it was so windy that I figured I'd be better off riding through the woods than on the street. The first half mile of the ten that I rode was fine and uneventful. The next 40 minutes was bizarre and unsettling.
How do I describe it? It started as I pedaled past the Christmas display on Metcalf just north of 103rd. I remembered riding home the previous year and having to half walk the bike through all the employees of the business there who were gathered on the path to formally light things up. From that point on, the entire length of the ride, memories of past rides flooded in. It was kind of spooky. I remembered minute details like the time three years before that as I rounded a particular corner I thought to myself that I should get my brake pads checked. I remembered the faces of pedestrians and other riders I'd encountered. I remembered words from a podcast that I was listening to during a ride two years ago. As I came to some sections of the trail, I remembered encounters with various wildlife. There were ideas for blog posts that were never written. Vibrant, exacting, mundane details.
As I rode past the office where I spent perhaps the best 3 or 4 years of my career, I realized how much I miss hanging out with the guys and just how good we had it for a while. I remembered random conversations and specific games of Call of Duty. The memories kept coming and coming and just wouldn't quit. This must be what it is like to have your life flash before your eyes. It is overwhelming and disturbing.
Putting the bike away in the garage and heading back down to the corner of my basement where I now spend my working hours, I sat there stunned for a bit, mentally exhausted. I miss many things -- including the daily commute on my bike. I didn't realize what a big part of my life it had been.
For 45 minutes or so, I biked around aimlessly on side streets within a couple miles of my house today. It was a good ride. It was a safe ride.