My mountain bike whips along the old rail bed, gravel crunching and spitting.
My legs pump and my chest is damp and warm. I spit our phlegmatic globs as my lungs cleanse themselves.
Dark lanes of foliage fly by as I penetrate them. A tailwind propels me on and every moment is a moment of ease and joy.
I’ll stop at the lake.
I’ll stop at Mount View
I’ll stop at the dirt road.
I’ll stop at the bridge.
I could keep going. Maybe make it to the road to Midgic? It’s only another click or so?
No, twilight has deepened and the dusk of night is almost upon me.
I stop at the bridge and take a moment to laugh out loud and drink water.
The harvest moon is now on my left.
The trail is darker
The wind is very present but not unfriendly, and I shift between a couple of easier gears as I try to find a new cadence and speed.
Back through the now near-dark.
Past Mount View,
Past the lake.
I think of skunks. They could be anywhere and I could be upon one and sprayed before I knew what had happened.
But they are not and I am not.
There is just me and my bike and the wind, the speed and the night. A sole runner comes out of the dark and turns off the trail and onto the road.
A mile or two ahead are the lights of the Trans-Canada. I am close now and whiz past wetlands reflected through birches.
Across the highway and though the park, into town.
I will see my dog soon. I will see him and we will race each other down and up the street and we will love it because we love each other.
For this fantastic night, for my girls and my wife and my dog and my cat and for all those who love me and that I love and for so very much more, I am thankful.