Off we ride
My bike and I,
Where shall we go,
We don’t always know!
Yet, where we’ve been we know the gist,
Cycling thru rivulets and down snow covered pistes
On skinny tires or fat knobby ones too,
By soccer fields in early morn still blanketed in dew.
On solid frames or those with two shocks,
We’ve peacefully ridden along west coast docks;
But, it’s been mostly under Montana’s Big Blue Sky
That we’ve taken in life while tranquilly commuting by!
Post winter solstice cycling longer days in the cold,
Forward along ice and gravel covered streets we rolled;
Peddling too under the hue of the moon,
Maybe whistling a while to lighten the gloom.
Along green stems of daffodils bursting forth their yellow rays,
Emerging through quads of snow where children often played.
Occasionally bouncing through dark eire puddles,
Listening to the dead by graveyards we’ve muddled.
Hearing horns thru the lights whilst in the underpass
On the north end near the city landfill’s morass;
We’ve ridden among Ravens in the city and the Wood,
Their curved culmens expounding witty declarations shadows’ alone understood!
‘oft through the Rattlesnake’s flowing green fields,
Or along the line’s Elk Meadows where we occasionally wheeeled;
Although it’s clearly high mountains which for us are sublime,
Turning spokes along Sheep among the rams and alpine!
Riding through high tamarack stands and other grand trees,
Glorious is the solace of their stately canopies!
Even long ago burned stands of expired ponderosa and douglas fir,
Furnishing nature’s mending blackness thru which one may endure.
Racing we’ve done through rain forests and across the sky
Merely to ride in the mountains, our healthy alibi!
Gaiety in the wood,
Cycling’s serenity understood.
Though commuting along city streets too,
Playing dogs and cats removing the blue.
Regular mates, each we get to know,
Observing their antics, watching them grow.
Curs running chain link or wooden fence lines,
Back and forth barking within their confines.
Black and white coats
Expounding their mad notes!
Through Missoula’s University grounds –
Where content clever squirrels oft abound.
High up in the maples throughout the oval’s green courtyard;
Along red brick paths among students and old bards.
Down we’ve ridden on the Clark Fork river trail,
Once photographing a fox on what once may have been an industrial rail.
Descending to work, wind and icicles in the beard,
Through flashing yellow lights at crosswalks we’ve veered.
Listening to the wheels rolling over ice along the route,
Pondering the spring hatch and soon the ‘root’s rising trout!
Familiar faces along the grey streets too,
Shoveling snow or doing what they do.
Befriending long dormant jalopies,
Obstructing gardens of flowering orange poppies;
Contrasting alas with the also noticed new,
Their yet unblemished bodies of silver and blue.
Residing in driveways or along streets they glowed,
Several as expensive as their owner’s abodes!
Content on the bicycle peddling along
With minimal effort, keeping older legs strong.
No gasoline emitting CO2 –
Gliding through simply keen on the view!
Occasionally changing behind closed office doors,
Though commonly in Missoula ignoring this chore!
So it has been over exuberant years,
Riding in humility and gratitude with elk, bear, cats & deer.
Sometimes with others, a daughter or son, also grinding the gears.
A little lube on the chain and one remains at ease,
Like floating down fresh mountain powder on lightly waxed skis.