Monday, December 17, 2012

New Pasture

I guess I ran into the fence line here, so it's time to make other arrangements. It's inconvenient that this occurs as I'm trying to get a post up about this year's Ramble, but it's not like climbing those steep gravel pitches into a headwind with only one gear and dust in my eyes. Since last Saturday, I think some of you now have a fond appreciation for my refreshing prairie headwinds.

Future posts to Pondero can be found here...

I hope to see you on the other side of the fence...


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Let's Ramble

Let's ramble!

I won't mislead you. I'm a little nervous about this year's event. Preparations have been a little more challenging this year. The unreliability of the Rosston General Store as a refreshment stop, and the infiltration of the oil and gas industry on some of our more "pristine" areas prompted a route change. I ended up with two alternate routes in hopes of minimizing a long headwind finish. Then I persuaded "GravelDoc" to make the trip down from Missouri to join the ride. Finally, if everyone that sent me a note actually comes, we will have our biggest Ramble ever. So, yes, I'm nervous. Expectations might be higher than ever. I hope my guests enjoy themselves.

The current weather forecast for Saturday indicates cool temperatures, only a slight chance for rain, and WSW wind.  If this holds, we'll take the Greenwood Loop route. That should make for a pleasant stop at the Greenwood Grocery and Grill. If the wind shifts to the north, we'll likely head for Gainesville.

It's almost Saturday.  So pack those bags with snacks, cameras, and a relaxed perspective, come up to my little place on the north Texas prairie, and join your friends in a pleasant rural ramble.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Melancholy, Meditation, and Medicine

A little before sunset, I set out for a couple of  hours. Sometimes I ride when I don't know what else to do. When life becomes difficult, I find that the rhythm of turning cranks and removing other sources of outside stimulus helps the meditation process. I have learned that pedaling can often be good medicine.

I lost my father-in-law yesterday. His three children lost their father. His wife lost a husband, and many people lost a wonderful friend. I share in the collective grief, and I hurt for all of them. But in addition to that, I have my own sense of loss. I remember meeting him the first time my wife (before we were married) brought me home to meet her parents.  I can only imagine what he must have thought of such an immature kid with his eldest daughter. But he always treated me like I was special.

He was truly like a second dad for me.  He was always patient, warm, hospitable, and in spite of my profound clumsiness, included me in his activities. I've spent many hours in his shop with him helping him build airplanes. It would have been more efficient for him to do things himself, but he took the time to teach me how to do things so I could be a part of his world.  He made me feel like I was useful to him, and when we talked about more serious matters, he made me feel like I was making good decisions. Is there anything better for a man than this kind of affirmation?

I can only hope he knows how much I appreciate the gift of his daughter, that I've done my best to take good care of her, and that I loved him dearly.

So I rode tonight with my one gear a good deal of time into a 20+mph headwind. But when your heart hurts this much, you can't feel your legs.