I can tell you in all honesty and not a hint of exaggeration that today was an absolutely perfect day for riding a bike in Minnesota. Temps in the 70’s. Very little humidity. Almost no wind. Only one cloud in the entire sky, and that cloud was so beautiful that I featured it at the top of the page. Then, for good measure, I took a couple more pictures of it.
It is the kind of day that reminds me why I continue to live in this state. It’s the kind of day that makes it worth enduring all the other crappy days. It’s the kind of day that inspired me to write a poem while pedaling. The poem I wrote today goes something like this:
Oh, what a beautiful mornin' Oh, what a beautiful day I've got a beautiful feeling Everything's goin' my way.
Not only is my poem deeply profound, but it’s also wonderfully lyrical. It’s almost as if you could put the words to music. Perhaps I’ll do that someday.
Strangely enough, the day was SO perfect that I totally forgot it was the first day of a new challenge. I know I could have found quite a few items from the scavenger hunt, but that isn’t where my mind was.
When I see such a smooth body of water, all I can think about is skipping stones. My grandfather taught me the skipping technique when I was about seven or eight years old. I continued to skip stones at every opportunity thereafter. In my college days, while living on Lake Superior, I honed my skills to the point where nobody I knew could skip stones better than I could.
I’m a retired stone skipping athlete now — well past my prime — but on this perfect day I carried my bike to the shoreline to see if I could revive my glory days. I thought I did pretty good for an elderly stone skipper. You judge for yourself.
I think my third throw was the best. I believe there were at least a dozen skips, but they were so close together that it was hard to be sure. That was the one that gave me confidence that maybe I can come out of retirement and compete against the best stone skippers once again. In the mean time, here is one more picture of that single cloud in the sky.
Before I close, I should probably address the topic of “impeccable integrity.” Rich mentioned it in his post regarding this month’s Cycle365 Challenge. As he said, we all have it–except maybe for one guy. Suddenly I’m worried that I might be that one guy.
In order to redeem myself, I must make an embarrassing admission. I didn’t really write that poem you saw about the “beautiful mornin'” and all that other stuff. A couple of guys named Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote it and it’s already in a song — a song from a famous musical. The musical is called “Oklahoma.” I’ve driven through that state a few times and never got the same impression of it as Rodgers & Hammerstein did.
Just one more thing: I probably won’t be posting again until the end of the week. By that time I will have ridden with a couple of special guests. Unfortunately, the perfect weather will be gone and we’ll be riding in more typical heat (90-degrees) and humidity. At least that’s what the weather people are predicting at this time.