Ran an errand after leaving work, which positioned me nicely for looping home in an indirect manner. Heading eastward against a slight headwind, the true intent of the season became clear. It’s fall. Sure, it’s SF Bay Area fall and we’re not exactly knocking frost off the pumpkins, but it felt like this would be the last commute of the season with uncovered knees, and two thin layers of wool under a wind vest were just keeping me warm enough if I didn’t stop.
Folks stuck in cars began to turn their headlights on. Even if the sun wasn’t precisely below the horizon, it had at least dipped beneath the western clouds enough that the last rays only caught the highest hills. I’d replaced the batteries in my running lights the night before, and had some more serious illumination mounted and ready to roll. Even with leaving work a bit earlier than normal, safety demanded a quick pressing of the fore and aft buttons, and I became significantly easier to see. But, it was still in that wonderful period of early dusk, with colors growing gray and a glow from the sky.
Pedaled and stretched away the drumming cadence of a kind of crazy day. Began to pick up more of a tailwind and stretched out to a couple of ticks above 20 mph, starting to feel easy and a bit smooth. Even with the exertion, the cooling evening pushed through my sleeves a bit.
Up the hill and into the curves. The breeze buffeted a bit, swirling in that way it does as seasons change, when it hasn’t yet settled into storm or calm mode. A young two point buck appeared in the road before me, then trotted dead center in the oncoming lane as a car followed at an appropriate distance. As I looked back over my shoulder, the deer spotted a path and leapt up the hill.
On the bay below me, it was low tide and as I looked back, the beauty of the rising moon just stopped me.
I slowed and pulled off the road to enjoy it for a bit. Out of the winds, and with no breeze pushing past my ears, it suddenly was silent. It didn’t seem that even the crickets had kicked into gear yet. I could hear my own slowing breath and watched a few birds working the edge of the mudflats.
One of those timeless moments.
The chill pressed in again and spurred me back onto the bike. But, that moment now traveled along with me. Another of the reasons I ride.