Christopher Rowe

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Seven Metaphors Per Hour
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In the interest of putting up more journal entries, I'm thinking about throwing up stuff that I write in other contexts from time to time.

Today, I saw on my bicycling club's website that one of the members has apparently spent the last year or so developing an offroad trail in a park near my office. Here's the brief article he wrote about it.

After I read the article, I decided to do the trail as my daily lunch ride instead of a road ride, and then I sent this public thank you note to him via our e-mail list.

I'd like to publicly thank Bob Butsch (and Truman the Dog) for making me late getting back from my lunch hour and for making me feel like a blimp.

Maybe I should explain.

This morning I read Bob's Outspoken [that's the newsletter] article about the gift he's given the cyclists, runners, hikers and equestrians who visit Masterson Station Park, in the form of a singletrack perimeter trail.

I work near the park, and as I've mentioned here before, I usually spend my lunch hour pedaling my hybrid Trek on a ten mile out and back ride to Yarnalton Pike. After I read Bob's piece, though, I decided to let the bike explore the non-roadie half of its heritage and noodled around the Masterson Station neighborhood until I found a way into the park that didn't involve Leestown Road or the construction circus lining the back way out to Spurr.

I found a paved path to the main park road, and, following the directions from the article, found the starting point of the trail near the soccer field. Within about 200 yards, I said to myself, "Hey, this is a whole different kind of fun, ain't it?" A half mile or so later, I said to myself, "Hey, this is a whole different kind of hurtin,' ain't it?"

Senator, I am not now nor have I ever been a mountain biker, cyclocross rider or offroad cyclist of any stripe. I haven't been. But Bob Butsch and Truman the Dog have cast my future in doubt. Because while I realize that, as Bob wrote, the course isn't "technical," and while I'm pretty sure I'll never (intentionally) steer a bicycle off a drop any greater than the curb by the High Street post office, I have certainly discovered the allure of taking it off the road.

Bob also wrote that the trail was "fast," showing up the relativity of that word again. While I was making my way up one of the climbs, I became convinced that my cyclometer was showing 7 metaphors per hour instead of miles. Because I'd already decided that now I knew how all those horses we see on the road rides feel running (okay, trotting) through fields like this one. Then I decided that maybe it was more like what a centaur must feel like, before I remembered that they took Xena and Hercules off the air.

When I finally made my way back to pavement, I headed back east towards my office. An unexpected landmark, though not on the land at all actually, guided me back. The Goodyear Blimp (guess I should say a Goodyear Blimp) was engaged in complicated negotiations with the winds above Bluegrass Field, beginning a slow descent.

"Blimp" is, of course, an inelegant word for a ship that's lighter than air. And you could tell it was lighter than air, even if you didn't know it, because the airship clearly didn't want to land. That was it. That was what I felt like.

So thanks, Bob.

Two more days until Cinco de Mayo/My Story Going Up on Sci Fiction Day.

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