19 September 2009

Bicycling in the morning

-- by Ryan McGhee

Leaving the cul-de-sac
I look both ways
A quick glance over the shoulder
Do I need to hug the curb?
Multi-tasking traffic patterns
A way of life learned early

Down the road, huff and puff
Time the light
Stop and drink
Pay attention!
Where am I?
Where are they?

Signal right and

B – r – e – a – th



Hello Methodists
A check over the shoulder and I’m free (of cars)
Running fast, or not so fast
Are the dogs out today?
I tuck deep
The wind at 30 miles-an-hour sounds like a car about to pass
I’m climbing again
it’s not work anymore

Smell the pasture
Take in the cows and the barn’s skeleton
Work some more
Good work
Not quite farm work, but good none the less

Another turn
A drink
Wave to people on the coner
Then the long slog into Huntersville

[Several minutes pass]

Are the kids playing?
No, it’s too early today
The swings sit silent, waiting

Some work
Some fun
Corn, grass, and houses
Then a remarkable sight:

A lone goat stands in the corner of the yard
Looking across the road
What is he staring at?

Then I see it
The sun peaking over the trees
He too feels the sunrise is a moment worth savoring
He savors better, more fully

I’m off
Trees and homes
Flowers and sunshine
Miles pass by, and I forget to think
Not thinking, I plan my novel:
It’s clear as the morning air
A first scene and some recurring themes

A little more work, and the spell is broken
I turn
Safe, but aware again

There are several ways home
Some involve sub-divisions
Others, narrow lanes with hurried Saturday drivers
Are they upset with me?
Do they worry for my safety
Or that they will miss the next light on my account?

Ryan McGhee is CTO of the Cabarrus Health Alliance. He lives and rides in Charlotte, NC.

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