Hello –

RLCT anyone. I think not. Year after year we ride to Kingston on the first weekend in June. Some things never change until they do change. The sun rises and sets every day but one day it too will be history, never to shine again. Where will we be then? Cosmic detritus, fragmented material, recombined matter – soulless born and soulless die. Philosophy and religion and science ultimately have no answer. The devout and atheists alike left wanting explanation.

Meantime, tomorrow, we ride, keeping alive the ordinary traditions of ordinary folks, a momentary diversion from the mundane. “The only thing that consoles us for our miseries is diversion. And yet it is the greatest of our miseries. For it is that above all which prevents us thinking about ourselves” bp

All to say, it’s good to stop and revel in the ‘now’ whatever the ‘now’ maybe. I just read about Mike Plummer, a bike mechanic familiar to many who rode the RLCT year after year. Mike died of cancer a few months ago. His presence is no longer. You may remember him as the long pony tailed mechanic, of slim build and quiet demeanor. He helped me in 2015 when I was stuck in Elgin with a broken derailleur. He cobbled together a fix and I was on my way courtesy of a tail wind for 120 kilometre solo ride back to Ottawa.

Incidentally, I met an attractive women while I waited for Mike Plummer at Elgin. She was alive, alert, and fresh of face, younger, and engaging. I often wonder where she is now – without name only the memory remains. Interesting how people come and go in one’s life –  family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers all just momentary interactions however brief or enduring.

https://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/newsletter-2020-06-01#mike-plummer

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: June 06/20: ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
Start: 7:30 am Stinsons on White lake Rd.
Where: Kolhsmith/Queensline
Description:  120 Kms of a circuitous route because of road construction
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: Mix of sun and cloud; Temp 15-21C
Wind: NW 15-33

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“For a moment man is a boy, for a moment a lovesick youth, for a moment bereft of wealth, for a moment in the height of prosperity; then at life’s end with limbs worn out by old age and wrinkles adorning his face, like an actor he retires behind the curtain of death.” bhartrhari

May 31/20: Four Riders; 86.6 kms; 2 hour 53; 510 metres

Only four horses this morning galloping along the roads of Renfrew County into a heavy northwest wind. Tough going, cool temperatures, and an overcast sky made progress slow. The swirling wind was like a dog suddenly released from the leash – unharnessed and running in circles, erratic, and unbounded by convention or discipline. Still, where else would you rather be on a gloomy Sunday morning that in the company of compatible buddies each taking a turn helping the other one, held together fast by an indissoluble concord.

Beauty is a broad and diverse canvas and is found in the grand and in the ordinariness of the everyday. Special moments abound in a life, numerous like stars in the sky, always there in light but revealing themselves only in darkness. Thankful and grateful and ever hopeful … .

Life slips away, like dripping water from a kitchen tap, inconsequential but lost forever, like Cinderella’s slipper but with no happy ending.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

Under development

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep A Gun In The House

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius. bc

May 30/20: Twelve Riders; 111 kms; 3 hour 32; 655 metres

A great turnout of riders!

Thanks for being at Stinsons this morning. The wind was wicked and so was the company. We hummed down the road quite well; well, I didn’t hum or whistle – had no puff. Out of my league to-day but trying hard. Afterwards, my friend bailey invited me over. She said she had an hour free, no more. But, you know how these things go. Afterwards, she said she really didn’t give a damn. And, now, my head hurts. Fair weather friend, I say.

Life slips away, like dripping water from a kitchen tap, inconsequential but lost forever, like Cinderella’s slipper but with no happy ending.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: May 31/20: ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
Start: 7:30 am Stinsons on White lake Rd.
Where: Renfrew
Description: 92 Kms
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: Sunny; Temp 4-7C
Wind: NW 15-23

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

Some Days

Some days I put the people in their places at the table,
bend their legs at the knees,
if they come with that feature,
and fix them into the tiny wooden chairs.

All afternoon they face one another,
the man in the brown suit,
the woman in the blue dress,
perfectly motionless, perfectly behaved.

But other days, I am the one
who is lifted up by the ribs,
then lowered into the dining room of a dollhouse
to sit with the others at the long table.

Very funny,
but how would you like it
if you never knew from one day to the next
if you were going to spend it

striding around like a vivid god,
your shoulders in the clouds,
or sitting down there amidst the wallpaper,
staring straight ahead with your little plastic face? bc

Hello – How are you?

What about Emily? Were you successful? Did she eventually reveal herself?

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Tomorrow we’re riding to Douglas over the hills, such as they are, to White Lake, Renfrew, and Stone Rd. We’ll come home on South McNaughton and Goshen. Lots of elevation gain to make it interesting and to test the legs. These aren’t really climbs, though; for that, we’ll need to ride the Gats. Perhaps, a remote start another time?

Not much to write about this afternoon but you’re okay with that, right?

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

When/Who: May 30/20: ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
Start: 7:30 am (Rain or Shine) Stinsons on White lake Rd.
Where: Douglas
Description: 110 Kms
Coffee Stops: None
Weather: Mainly cloudy; Temp 11-17C
Wind: NW & W 23-35
Perry’s cancelled his Almonte/Lanark ride because of a lack of interest/conflict with this ride.

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“She had said he had been driven away from her by a dream…” jc

Douglas

May 24/20: Eight Riders; 89.7 kms; 2 hour 44; 435 metres

Hello – How was your Sunday morning? What did you do? Were you alone or with others?  Were you active? Did you gasp for breath in the doing? Was your effort rewarded? How so? Did you just kill time? If killing time, was your effort rewarded? Did you reflect on anything? What will come of that? Am I asking you or myself?

Life slips away, like dripping water from a kitchen tap, inconsequential but not to be summoned back. Lost, like Cinderella’s slipper but with no happy ending.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan: Check Back on Friday

Stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“I knew I would not always be a child/
with a model train and a model tunnel,
/and I knew I would not live forever,/
jumping all day through the hoop of myself.” bc

Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes

First, her tippet made of tulle,
easily lifted off her shoulders and laid
on the back of a wooden chair.

And her bonnet,
the bow undone with a light forward pull.

Then the long white dress, a more
complicated matter with mother-of-pearl
buttons down the back,
so tiny and numerous that it takes forever
before my hands can part the fabric,
like a swimmer’s dividing water,
and slip inside.

You will want to know
that she was standing
by an open window in an upstairs bedroom,
motionless, a little wide-eyed,
looking out at the orchard below,
the white dress puddled at her feet
on the wide-board, hardwood floor.

The complexity of women’s undergarments
in nineteenth-century America
is not to be waved off,
and I proceeded like a polar explorer
through clips, clasps, and moorings,
catches, straps, and whalebone stays,
sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness.

Later, I wrote in a notebook
it was like riding a swan into the night,
but, of course, I cannot tell you everything –
the way she closed her eyes to the orchard,
how her hair tumbled free of its pins,
how there were sudden dashes
whenever we spoke.

What I can tell you is
it was terribly quiet in Amherst
that Sabbath afternoon,
nothing but a carriage passing the house,
a fly buzzing in a windowpane.

So I could plainly hear her inhale
when I undid the very top
hook-and-eye fastener of her corset

and I could hear her sigh when finally it was unloosed,
the way some readers sigh when they realize
that Hope has feathers,
that reason is a plank,
that life is a loaded gun
that looks right at you with a yellow eye. Billy Collins

“I will drink/Life to the lees …
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d” (lat)

May 23/20: Ten Riders; 109.9 kms; 3 hour 35; 552 metres

Hello – That was a great group ride that tested my limits of endurance and pace. I’m spent but expect to recover. The conditions were great, too, albeit with a surly east wind. Perfect temperatures, though. Does it sound good? It was.You just s/h been there “to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” MUeshiba

I don’t know about you but it will take several more rides to toughen my body and to tighten the slack around my middle; my spirit though is in high order – irrepressible and still reverberating and crackling from the big bang, devoid of meaning as it was but marvellous in the extreme – a motley perfection of happenstance. In the end, entropy will win but for now I’m still vibrating with the original impetus of the life-force fire. And you?

If you missed this morning’s ride, you’ll have a second chance tomorrow when we ride to Almonte, 7:30 am start. We’ll have a head wind for the outward leg and then a tailwind home. You’ll just want to be there.

For now, I say, a big thank you. There’s no group ride without riders showing up to ride. I appreciate your  commitment to the endeavour.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

  • When/Who: May 24/20: ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
  • Start: 7:30 am Stinsons on White lake Rd.
  • Where: Almonte via Tatlock
  • Description: 90 kms
  • Coffee Stops: None
  • Weather: Mainly sunny; Temp 13-23C
  • Wind: South East 15-22 kms

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”      Sarah Bernhardt

May 18/20: Six Riders; 50.9 kms; 1 hour 49; 256 metres

Hello. Well, we  had three fantastic days of cycling last weekend, capped off with a delightfully easy 50 kms on Victoria Day, under the warmest conditions we’ve had this cycling season. If you haven’t been out, you’ve missed some great riding but it’s going to get even better based on the latest forecast for tomorrow and Sunday. You won’t want to miss this great weather now that it’s finally here. There s/b lots of bare arms and legs visible, as we shed our winter cycling garb for seasonal vestments. About time!

By that I mean, as of now, it’s looking very nice; so, shorts and short sleeve jerseys will be the order of the day at 7:00 am. When was the last time you rode like that? Like nine months ago? Crazy climate we live in?

Okay, thanks to all those who ride because there is no group ride without riders showing up. It’s that simple. If you’re looking to “tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit”* and you’re looking for a really good workout, great company, and questionable conversation, join us. Your company would be welcome, given the wind force expected. You know, you’ll just want to be there at 7:00 am for an early start.

Any questions, just get in touch.

Important Stuff – Tentative Plan:

  • When/Who: May 23/20: 7:00 am 7.00 am ArnpriorCycling/MAFIA
  • Start: Stinsons on White lake Rd.
  • Where: Quyon Ferry; Fees $3.00
  • Schedule: Every 20 mins PQ side. Longest Ferry on the Ottawa.
  • Description: 109 kms with lots of climbing. 7:00 am Start
  • Coffee Stops: None
  • Weather: Mainly cloudy; Temp 14-23C
  • Wind: East 20-40 kms

Okay, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

“What is easy is seldom excellent ….. Exercise is labour without weariness” SJ

*MUeshiba