When the roofers left last week on the day before the snow was supposed to start flying, they moved the jack supports in the alley alongside the house so I'd be able to get the snow blower out to the front sidewalk and back. What a good decision that was on their part because if they hadn't I'd not have been able to get the bike up to the street from under the deck, and with the high temperature in the 60s today and most of last week's snow gone, it would have driven me batty if I couldn't have taken a long spin today.
It was a great day to ride! I got back only this morning from a trip which began on Christmas evening, and even as I came west across I-84 I could feel the call to get back on the scooter which had been idle for one day short of a month. The roads were perfect except for the huge mounds of plowed snow, like this one at the far end of our street, which might not disappear entirely until sometime in late March or early April.
I had ridden for nearly an hour when I looked at the time and realized that our baby, home from college, would be ending her shift at the nursing home in a few minutes. I texted her to ask if she'd like to take a ride with me, and I'd hardly pocketed my phone when her affirmative reply arrived. I was across the river but near the bridge, and I got back to the house just as she was getting out of the car from work. We took off after she changed her clothes and we rode for almost an hour and a half going nowhere in particular.
Though we don't talk much when we ride, I enjoy my daughter's company immensely when she accompanies me like this. I know she's having a good time back there, and even if it's not the kind of interaction two persons usually engage in when they're spending time together, I like that we're doing something together nonetheless. Too soon she'll be out of school and starting her own life. I don't want to keep her a baby, but I do plan to savor what time we have left to do enough dad and daughter things to remember fondly in the years to come.
I think when I ride. I think long, and hard, and deep. In 2008 my wife and I discussed some potentially life changing possibilities. I thought a lot about them, especially today being in the kind of pensive mood that usually overtakes me when another year is about to come to an end. Too often such mental meanderings lead me back to Frost's rider in the snowy woods on a dark evening with promises to keep and miles to go before he sleeps. And even as I roll through the miles, I wonder - how many more to to, to go, to go before I sleep?