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Belgian Sun

November 17, 2011

Yesterday’s Ride: 79km—Jerseyville, Harrisburg, Sheffield

Weather: Grey, bleak

The fields have changed. A month ago, the sun glowed off the golden stalks of the harvest’s bounty. This week, the sun is a cold, white orb, pushing meekly through a blanket of grey clouds—Belgian sun. The fields have been plowed and turned, leaving the world seeming barren and dead. Fall has progressed—receded?—into winter. Brown fields. Dark brown. Loam up. Tree stalks and branches heavy and wet. Leafless. Lifeless. The dull grey of the road is omnipresent. In the sky, in the air, in the mists that blur the horizon. Even the remnant greens (dark) and browns suggest a hint of dull grey.

The ride was silent. I could have been riding through a landscape pocked by a painful history of war and industry. A shell of such. No cobbles, but the landscape was damp, cold, and tired. I was alone. Legs sensed the required effort and gave only that much, rolling over hills and hammering the flats. At points, my body felt as drained as the landscape. At others, courage and strength were restored. Never wanting to tarry, but not obliged to push too hard, either. Lazy or fatigued? Not that the ride itself was depressing. A day riding is a big step up on just about any alternative. But the weather and surrounds were enough to hint at why Belgians have traditionally been prominent among the best of professional cyclists. I’d want to ride away from this as fast I could, too.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Blah permalink
    November 17, 2011 9:59 am

    Lyrical. Nice.

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