Riding Our Bikes on an August Evening

img_3935Last night, as soon as my husband, Clif, came home from work, we went on a bike ride. The heat of the day had subsided, and the air was lovely and warm, perfect for riding in a T-shirt. Up our road we went, past some old apple trees that have already begun dropping their fruit and past a field with hay that had just been cut. Big rolls of hay were lined by the edge, and they looked like the backs of large, slumbering animals.

We went on our usual route, on Memorial Drive, which goes by Maranacook Lake, and the water shimmered and rippled in the setting sun. All along the drive, people were grilling their supper. We always have our supper after our bike ride, and the smoky smell of cooking meat was irresistible to us, making us even more hungry than we already were.

Our town’s moto is “Winthrop Plays Outside,” and we even have nifty little signs, many on Memorial Drive, proclaiming this.

“Winthrop also cooks,” I called to Clif as we passed yet another house with a smoking grill.

“And sometimes they cook outside,” Clif called back.

What a town! Not only do we play outside, but we also cook outside.

We continued down the drive. I waved to a couple sitting on their porch overlooking the lake, and they waved back. We slowed down to chat with another couple who was walking 3 dogs—a border collie, a puggle, and a terrier. The puggle was their dog, and they were dogsitting the other two. I expected the border collie to lunge for us as we pulled away from them and picked up speed, but instead it was the terrier. Fortunately, they were all on leashes and under control.

We went our 5 miles and headed back. Even though we were hungry, we took a few minutes to sit at the public beach and watch the water and the swimmers. We smiled as we listened to the exuberant shrieks of the children as they splashed and played.

We live only a mile from the beach, so it was a short ride back to our home and to our supper. We passed Mia Lina’s, and the smell of pizza was just as enticing as the smell of grilled meat.

“Let’s stop for pizza on Friday,” I said.

“Sounds good,” Clif replied.

As we topped the hill of our road, the big orange moon, oddly enough called a blue moon, rose just over the horizon. As we sped down the hill, the moon gazed serenely down on us, and it was so beautiful and fantastical that it seemed as though it had come directly from a George Méliès movie. No wonder the moon is a constant inspiration, spanning generations and centuries.

No grilled meat or pizza were waiting for us when we got home, but there was freshly baked corn bread, cold chicken, and pasta with vegetables. After a 10 mile bike ride, we were both good eaters, savoring every bite.

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