The Path

This summer I’ve enjoyed getting on my bike more regularly. There is a nice bike trail near where we live and it is a 19-mile loop around the city.

There are several things I like about the trail. It follows a river and has some good scenery.  It’s fairly level. Often I see birds and wildlife. In fact, last week a deer ran along with me for a while before disappearing into the trees.

But mostly I like the path I take. It’s always easy to start, you have good energy and there’s a lot to see.  When you get to the most remote and always the windiest part of the trail, it’s about the same distance to turn around or finish, so you just plod ahead.  The one stretch that’s uphill and the final stretch are both in high traffic areas, so it gives you motivation to not look like a fat old man biking, even though I’m a fat old man biking.

But the one part that’s always interesting to me is the one downhill.  It’s a pretty good drop, you can pick up some good speed and also can rest a bit. After a steep decline it levels off for maybe a hundred yards and there’s a slight incline before the next section where you’re going downhill again. That small uphill seems way too hard. You’re cruising down and then this, almost unexpected, stretch comes into play.

Given our age, our parents’ ages, our family and friend’s ages, I was thinking we have some pain coming. Whether through loss or medically or a host of other possibilities, we have some aching ahead. We’ve all cruised down the path only to have unexpected bumps and slopes, that maybe seem worse because things had been going smoothly.

My hope is that regardless of the path, we finish being surrounded by others.

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