Friday, April 15, 2011

Signs of spring

I'm calling it. After all those hours shoveling snow this winter, we're done with snow for the season (and we won't make a full Shaq's worth). I'm ok with that though. It's still cold in Boston, but it's definitely springy. Even those snow banks that seemed they would become permanent structures have receded and disappeared from Cambridge and only left a few shady remainders out in Concord.

I know this because last weekend, I went on my first ride of the season. We took the short River Runs Through It CRW loop, which is 28 miles. I probably rode this loop a dozen times last summer and knew it by heart. This time around, I realized the turns that stood out were the ones I had missed in the past. Landmarks played tricks on me, everything seemed familiar, but nothing was certain. Here's a house with a stone foundation that I recognize, or an out-of-place modern boxy house from the 60s, or a tiger striped mailbox, or one hanging from a tree. They all start to blur together. Was that on this loop or a different one? We only had to consult the cue sheet once to confirm a turn. Despite that, it was bucolic and bordered on a Disney cartoon: flowers bursting forth, squirrels running along side, birds singing and playing in the trees above our heads. Maybe it's just the excitement of feeling the cold air rush past or the lean and lurch of the bike as I increase the pressure, but this ride was perfect.

Another sure sign of spring, the Boston Marathon takes place this weekend. I'm volunteering once again. This year though we've been upgraded to "Elite Fluid Distribution" at 10K. Thus far though it seems like our responsibilities are to (1) match the labelled bottle with the label on the table (and not to worry to much about it because some one will come by to fix our mistakes) and (2) stay out of the way of the elites. Will let you know how well we achieve these two goals.

Finally, not at all related to spring, I just finished reading my friend Erin Tocknell's book Confederate Streets. It's a fantastic read (and not just because there's a brief mention of my coxing in the final chapter). Erin's attention to detail astounding. Reading her book, seeing Nashville and Pittsburgh through her eyes and experiences made me realize how little of the day to day I appreciate and remember.


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