Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ha Llegado El Verano

I've been re-planting my road roots over the last few weeks, finding rhythms within the eternal music of road noise and turning pedals and heaving lungs on endless hills. This week, the heat in New England became stifling, temps over 100 and humidity in the 80s or higher, so I decided it would be a good idea to turn to my neglected Vaya and head for the sweet damp relief of the woods.

A two-hour jaunt this a.m., through Earle's Trails, with a bonus stretch of road riding through Amherst and environs.

A venture off the easier trails brought many delightful stream crossings and bridges

A philosopher's rock, of sorts, at the small reservoir at Earle's

On Hampshire College campus. I'm still unsure what this means. Pure Pioneer Valley.

A ceremonial pagoda? They do love their uniqueness over at Hampshire.

The 45 mm Vee Rubber tires I've been sporting on my off-road ventures have definitely given me more confidence on every sort of irregular terrain; I love them. I had them inflated at lower pressure than ever today, 30 p.s.i. in front and 40 in back. At first I kept wincing, waiting for pinch flats. Eventually, I relaxed and began to enjoy the extra "suspension" they afforded my fully rigid steel frame over roots and rocks, and the wonderful grounded feeling they gave in loose terrain or sand.

I've been getting braver about stream crossings, and the rewards have been manifold. Why are they so fun? Is it the sound of the water plashing around the tires, so unaccustomed during two-wheeled sport? Is it the sense of invulnerability, knowing that I can ride where bikes are not "supposed" to go? 'Dunno, but I'm diggin' it.

I'll leave you with a couple pics taken around the old abode:

Start line of unsanctioned criterium, which takes place on our dead-end
street every weekend. The schedule is whimsical, all categories welcome.
Mrs. V's fine foot, as she toiled in her garden patch this morning

Here's to the finer things. The first weekend of summer brings 80 degrees and clear skies, hawks circling over our yard, cardinals and catbirds and sparrows singing for their lives and livelihood, vegetables fresh out of the ground (thank you, Mrs. V, you're a gem). 

Life is good.


Scott said...

V- Got caught up in some weird reflective times this week. Your happy post helps. I don't know why, I just like it when your on the Vaya. The Collegian, used to be the school daily. There was a comic strip that was always poking fun at "Hampster". I remember someone graduating suma cum laude in frisbee.Thing is, they're probably doing quite well. I like the blossom on Mrs V's foot. Time in the garden is always well spent. A deep breath, yes, life is good. Nice post.

Velosopher said...

You know by know I have my depths, too -- for sure. Hope the light infects you fully...