Phobia 2

She didn’t seem to grasp the concept of a phobia
I shook my head in agreement and laughed
I know when I told her I clipped out on hills
Because I have a hill phobia
She asked me what I feared most
Stalling and falling I’d said
She told me all the reasons that wouldn’t happen
And why I should clip in and push and pull
While she stood while not moving at all
On a hill clipped in and standing and talking
Which left me annoyed while still afraid
My hill phobia and height fear can’t be
Persuaded away by rational argument
They’d be long gone since I’d have
Dissuaded myself from my foolishness
And I’d have stood on top of that dome
Luxuriating in the breathtaking 360 view

Unionville Road Ride

Spring’s first road ride ready route chosen beauty beckons
Hills loom large school lot start playlist shuffle set right
Earbud in music on we’re off lush summer growth adorns
Rolling hills pedal north past picturesque stone barn pastures

First turn long downhill wind rushes wheels spin faster
Road curves honeysuckle scent scenic farmhouse, flowers
Surround ancient red barn needing paint faded chipping
Every view a photo op locations catalogued as pedals turn

Right turn spectacular orange poppies greet straight carless
Road pothole minefield prevents speed bored black cows ignore
Our passing 
full mane horses graze before stark and excellent
Leafless tree fatigue pattern bark covers thick strong trunk beautiful

Skeletal state (death becomes you) first hill just ahead tense shoulders
Anticipation distracts music stops with weird timing complete
Silence as assent begins a single word “fear” taunts more silence
Follows a second “fear” sung in superb acapella as heavy breathing

Harmonizes with silence and a perfectly timed prodding word
Fear dismissed hill’s crest welcomes rewards with accelerating
Speed descent second hill’s word floating in silence is paranoia
Is shuffle really random? Hills’ challenge met first road ride

First Ride

First ride of the season let’s make it flat and short-ish
Why so late it’s early May six weeks past due how did this
Happen? Weather work and then there was pneumonia
Good thing poems don’t have to rhyme like a child’s
Haiku what choices? Begonia ammonia I don’t own ya?

This day though beautiful puffy clouds and the anticipated
Crowd on the pretty flat trail is absent where are the people?
No nervous parents with tiny kids to dodge on training wheel bikes
Lucky us clear sailing as we circle the lot and head north through
Fields cool air tunnel pothole avoidance dark glasses lowered

A large extended family coming our way young big eyed middle son
Heading straight at me thick accent dad calling move left move left
Hey dad you should be saying right…somehow my heart rate doesn’t
Blip I see the whites of his eyes last second few spare feet he shakily
Leans right I hug my edge we pass like ships stay right cute boy

Time check is it 3? Guests in 2 hours plus a grocery stop and shower
We can ride out 3 more miles no that would be 40 minutes back
So 2 more miles no comment her knowing smile I do this with numbers
And time we pedal on 2 more to our big loop turn head back not bad
Feels good we can go to the end next time no worries happy legs first ride


Valley Forge National Park, Betzwood lot

Back seat duffle, gear overflows

Cleated shoes, helmet, sunglasses, gloves

Hybrid Giant tires pumped

Ready. Garmin set. Go.

Leading, Pedaling. Trailhead north

Thick woods flank long green tunnel

Iron bridge S curve down, down. 3 miles

Perkiomen River, today’s neighbor

Zig-zag of bridges, crossing, crossing over flowing streams

Weaving around kids on tiny bikes, past runners, past chatters

Pace set, rhythm

Steep, steep hill, flying down past rocky creek. 13 miles

Water views, bouldery cliffs, rugged trail, trendy towns, trail-side bike shop

Open field, bridge, woods, another bridge

Hill, Green Lane, halfway, glimmering lake, kayaks, barbeques, fishing poles

Park-bench rest, calories consumed, water gulped, 21 miles

Back on trail, path retraced

12-degree hill, up, up, Walk or ride? 29 miles

Top of hill, recover. Ancient ski lift rumbles, Pedal

Folk Fest stage. Sparkly water. Breath

Parking lot, right turn, bike rack, duffle, 42 miles

Road Closed

The “road closed” blockade encountered by the cyclist is, to her, an invitation to pedal around the orange sign, the striped barrel, the blinking lights. Her disbelief that there is truly an impossible to traverse breach in the road is steadfast. On an occasion when there is an actually gully so steep and rugged that it’s impossible to portage the bikes, or a completely missing bridge, exposing rushing water, she stands over her bike, in front of the obstacle, and drinks a long draw on the water bottle. She turns the bike around, backtracking toward the blockade. For the rest of the ride, all rules of the road are carefully followed. She has learned that apparently mutually exclusive qualities embodied within one human should be celebrated. Her contradictions create a bouquet of traits that confuse and entice.