Randi Mail – Cycling Passion

My hands grip the handlebars, palms pressing down on the cushions of my fingerless gloves. My back is straight, but I lean forward facing the wind. The steady breeze in my face increases as my speed rises. I begin down the path along the river. “Hi Charles” I usually say aloud, with a big grin. I shoot a flirtatious glance at the water, its velvety and rippling surface laps at the shore. Might catch a hot pink or bright yellow duck boat or the mini sailboats in the distance out of the corner of my eye as I ride along.

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I know the bends in the path well, snaking around trees, benches, playgrounds, and sculptures.  Every so often, tree roots intent on slivering underneath from one side to the other create little heaves in the asphalt, black burrows cracking up across my way. I steady my feet on each pedal and position them midway on the rotation exactly opposite one another. At the same time, I draw my elbows in and lower my torso closer to the handlebars. A quick lift off the saddle, thighs lightly pinch the nose of the seat for stability and control. Over the bump… bump… back in the saddle.

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Legs pumping, I truly love this elegant invention. I have never owned a car. I play with my pedaling stroke to switch up the delicious muscle burn, sometimes slight sometimes intense. Maybe I’ll use my quads from hip to knee keeping my feet parallel stomping out the strokes. Or, activating my calf muscles I’ll start ankling. This technique involves pointing the foot slightly up on the down stroke and slightly down as you pull the pedal back and up.

The breeze shuffles my hair at my back. Little adjustments for total comfort, a tug here and there of my helmet brim and the back of my shirt. Breathing in, fresh air floods my lungs as I inhale deeply. Breathing out, my belly extends feeling peaceful as I become one with my bike.

Pumping. Click… click… I shift into a higher gear for more resistance and momentum. Letting go of the left handlebar first, then the right one, I sit upright. Lifting my arms out and up to the sides my shadow on the path is clear and tall. Bold and free, I ride over the dappled shadows of the leaves and branches from the border of trees beside me. This is me, I’m flying! I know I’ve got that twinkle in my eye, one of joy and pure passion. Nothing can compare.

Randi Mail is a lover of the outdoors, comedy, and the arts. She’s a positive change agent and natural leader working on sustainability from a triple bottom line perspective. From 2002-2016 she was Director of Recycling for the City of Cambridge in Massachusetts.

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Erika Riddington – Stone Cold December

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“Each year as December approaches,
And Earth turns gray, stone cold,
Summer green lush is faded
And russet–brown overtakes gold,
I’m not perplexed or longing
for that chroma, or sweet fruit that has been,
But I do still revel in the fresh and beauteous.
I do not wish to give up
the lavish gathering in.”
-Anonymous

I live for a good walk.
As stone cold December approaches,
Thanksgiving weekend with family is particularly special.

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I go with delight at being together with the beloved people I rarely see.
I go to thoroughly enjoy simply breathing the fresh air and moving through space.

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Farm in Amherst, MA.

 
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I also go with a an eye for treasures to bring the freshness of outside in for the winter.

Gems stand out…
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The treasures found? An abandoned wasp’s nest for the classroom, some bright winterberry from the marshy farm’s edge, emerald moss for an advent garden, fragrant boughs of balsam for the holiday house, a bird’s feather for no purpose at all.

These artifacts find a place in our home and become part of our celebrations.

Through our sometimes too hurried and harried daily existence, the fresh pieces from the natural world are reminders of a flow beyond and help keep us connected to the larger Life.

Erika Riddington is a relatively new middle school science teacher, (former landscape architect), currently raising a family with her husband in Arlington, Massachusetts.

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Krister Allen – Fortnight Idaho

toppost1Momentary visual stimulation from the State of 208 – Serious, Quirky, simply Pretty and just plain ‘Challenged’ …

Take a moment to look around – ignore your conditioned, often too accustomed, literal interpretations, skew the perspective and simonize your neurotransmitters.

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I will post them as I see them … apologies in advance if the biweekly synchronicity is not exact – yes, I had to be ‘that guy’ …

This past week was very precious to me … caringly, Sunrise – Sunset has been cheerfully and thematically decorating the soundscape of my mind:

Swiftly flow the days                                              Swiftly flow the years
Seedlings turn overnight to flowers                     One season following another
Blossoming even as we gaze                                Laden with gladness and tears
                                                                                                                                                        Harnick / Bock                 

… so with passion in the skies – I covet the familiarities of my past – to you Q!

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Krister Allen lives (for now) in Sandpoint, Idaho. He is an architect, avid sailor and skier…oh and happens to be my true love.

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