I decided to commute home from Uniontown Tuesday, despite inclement weather. Giving the car over to my mother and making the ride a necessity seemed the only way to get the bike under me. I felt like something on the bottom of a shoe. Nevertheless, I had to get a ride in. One thing I knew for sure, I was not heading up the mountain.
Our relationship had become no closer than passing on the way to work lately, a subtle nod offered at best. How had it come to this, who really knows? Not so long ago I couldn’t keep my tires off her, couldn’t stop talking about her, now—indifference. When you know every curve of the old girl, every inch of her surface, not so smooth anymore in places, does that familiarity calm the swells of passion? When she knows just when you will push and just when you will roll over, is that when it is all over?
Despite having missed many rides, I felt an unexpected vigor. It was cold and raining: my best rides always come then. I came rather quickly towards my mountain. She had covered herself in a heavy veil. She wanted nothing to do with me and I wanted none of her. Just ride on by, Fat Cat, that would be best.
Of course, it would be nicer to get off the main road—you know with the traffic and the poor visibility. It wouldn’t hurt to just brush up against her on Barton Hollow. As I got closer she got darker. She knows I like that brooding side of her. Haven’t really seen that in a while, just blue skies and easy passage. It’s nice and all but… she’d become too settled—too vanilla. The girl I took up with last year was wild and unpredictable. You couldn’t get on top of her without a fight.
By the time I got to her feet at the bottom of Mud Pike, she had raised her nimbus skirt just a little. A tease? She still looked mad as hell up top but… Oh, it wouldn’t hurt to head up just a little ways, get my head up under those clouds a bit. See what kind of tantalizing nastiness might be going on up there.
The riding was easy. The higher I got the higher she slid her grey petticoat, just out of reach. It was as if she knew what I wanted. Just a little higher, just a little bit more and you’ll have it. Just as I was about to turn back in disgust, she fell upon me. It was like one of those silly scenes in the movies. You know, the ones where, in the heat of the argument, the woman starts slapping and punching the man. All her pent up fury is unleashed. They struggle a bit, all the while drawing ever closer. Finally, pugilism turns to passion as the lovers embrace in a torrid kiss, during which they crash onto the dining room table and—you get the picture.
There she was, resplendent in glistening white. The wind cut though my jersey as I passed the first snowline of the year. It was just like old times, the adversity, the unexpected, the beauty, the excitement. Then I stopped— yards from the summit. It didn’t seem right to just take her like that. We should slow down a bit, leave each other wanting more.
Seems she did not like being left in the lurch. As I turned back down the mountain, she lashed out. It felt like she had, in my absence, taken some sort of correspondence course in Transylvanian acupuncture. Icy needles stung my face, propelled by swiftly rising winds. She slowed my descent such that I was actually passed by a car. Oh, the indignity. As fast as I dropped down her slopes, she followed with her worst. It chased me all the way to the formerly calm base and into the lowlands. Yeeehaa—what a woman.
I took the easy way home, down the unfinished strip of the worlds biggest bike path (at least until 2010) highway 43 south. All along its wide open stretches, my mind wandered back to the mountain. What a welcome change from a long summer. I couldn’t wait to see her like that again.