By Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie —
“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” William Shakespeare
For those who know me, the mantra “It’s Always A Good Day To Ride,” isn’t just a cool catchphrase of mine, it’s a way of life. Having made the voluntary choice of weekend only access to a car, it’s also, at times, a harsh reality. Wind, rain, sleet, hail, sleety/hail, sideways rain, it doesn’t matter and it doesn’t last. Eventually, and more often then people inside their cars would believe, the world gives up its seasonal riches and you find yourself trekking the boys to school through a sunrise masterpiece worthy of a roped off area in an art museum.
April has been called the cruelest month, but for us it’s the best time to be in the saddle. The light in the mornings and evenings is ethereal, everything is in bloom, the dogwoods, the rhododendrons, the cherry blossoms and those other pink trees I mistake for cherry blossoms until my scientist wife who did graduate work in tree identification laughed at me, Its the time of year I can actually feel the bike taking me back. Every time I mount it, I fell a slight rush to the head, a flutter in my stomach, because I know something so many of us have forgotten; we’ve had the means to time travel sitting in our garages and basements all along. It’s a real Dorothy and the Wizard moment that I make my boys aware of as we prepare for another trip back. I revert to my former self, to when I was ten-years-old and everything was a challenge, an obstacle course, a game of wits and speed and cunning, and of course, it was always being covered by ABC Sports with full color commentary.
These days I do my own commentary for the boys who are hanging on the back and laughing up a storm. “Looks like we have some traffic up ahead on the course, two dog walkers and a distracted coffee drinker. ring the bells boys, I’ll take evasive action!” I cut the distance between the sidewalk and the turn, smile and wave as we jump the curb, splash a leftover puddle, and rip and roar into the rest of our morning. quaking out to the ducks overhead and taking in the aromas of a neighborhood in full bloom and projecting in eye popping technicolor.
And to think, not more than a week ago I had to answer the well meaning, well intended question of whether I could afford a car… I’d like my official answer entered into the record now. Who among us can afford NOT to ride a bicycle?