I like to say I can do anything I did in my twenties given sufficient warm up and ibuprofen. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. That it took me fifteen miles to warm up today might objectively be a sign of mortality but it’s not going to cast a pall on this day. It was sunny in the low eighties with a slight breeze as I took my bike out of the car in Adel, Iowa headed for points further west. The corn to the south was higher than the eyeball and the soybeans to the north were about knee high. I looked down at my leg to see a red blotch which, fortunately was just a berry that had fallen from up above.
A river curled up to the south of the trail from time to time. Along the way there was an active brick factory and a closed brick factory that looked like the owners walked away in haste. At times the trees were thick overhead, but the overhead sun broke through to create a dappled effect on the trail. At fourteen miles an hour the dapple was simply pleasant, but at twenty miles an hour it was mesmerizing, and I had to break my gaze away. In Maine lighthouses mark prominent points on the coast; in Iowa corn silos mark prominent points along the trails.
On my way back from Panora a fox thought it could outrun me down the middle of the trail, but had to pull off the trail as I came up behind it. I had a little “kick” left in me for the final half mile, but had to move to the other side of a trail as a toothless man was walking on the wrong side, carrying a case of cheap beer. His stupor was benign, so I nodded and kept up my pace. Back in the car on the way home salt began to crystallize on my cheeks and forehead. Back home it was time for a sports drink, cigar, and laptop so I could write this sentence.
All in all, it was an excellent day under the sun.