This Winter’s First Below-Freezing Ride, November 24, 2015

Up at 5:30 am, as usual,
But the temperature is not as usual.
This morning, as I exited the house,
It felt like, or colder than,
the 31 degrees the radio,
as I dressed for my bike ride,
reported on.

My face,
uncovered and exposed,
the first to feel the cold,
as I hit the street and
shifted gears to the top one
and sped down Broughton Ave.

Soon after,
the tips of my fingers,
moving them constantly
over the next hour and a half
to make it to the end
in relative OK-ness.

Missing the moon,
but halfway through
the amazing sunrise
arose in the eastern sky
as I exited Branch Brook Park
onto Washington Avenue
and all its parked and passing
cars and buses.

Pink, blue, orange and red
as the golden orb
rose toward the horizon,
and for the first time
I can remember
ever seeing,
a moderately thin shaft of orange,
rising vertically into the sky
right above the coming sun,
clear, distinct, new, unexpected.

Turning west,
leaving the sunrise view.

Saying good morning or nodding my head
as I passed familiar faces
on the Nutley greenway,
dog walkers, walkers and runners
also making a routine
of early morning exercise.

A striking Lassie-like collie,
wagging its tail as its keeper
allows it to roam leash-less.
Barking at me across the stream
as I ride briskly past.

Every ride, always different,
sometimes challenged,
always stimulated,
always grateful for
strength to ride
despite 66 years,
always looking forward
to the next one.