For Clif and me, one of the great pleasures of summer is riding our bikes around Winthrop. We feel extremely fortunate to live in such a beautiful town of lakes, fields, and forests. When we leave our driveway, no matter which way we turn, we have a choice of scenic rides.
Usually we begin riding our bikes in May, perhaps even late April if the weather is warm enough. However this year, because of library brouhaha and gardening, we have gotten a late start and have just begun riding our bikes. But better late than never, and eight slow miles will eventually lead to ten, fourteen, perhaps even twenty miles covered in less time. (I do want to add that speed is never our goal. Clif and I are what might be called steady riders rather than speedy ones.)
One of the reasons that Clif and I like biking so much is that we are very concerned about our carbon footprint. When we bike, the only carbon emissions come from us, a big improvement over our belching car. In the summer, especially, we try to reserve Sunday for a carless day, and we take to our bikes for an outing. We can even stop at a convenience store along the way to pick up the Sunday paper, which is then tucked into my trusty bike bag.
This Sunday, Clif and I went for a bike ride along shimmering Maranacook Lake. Aside from the beauty, we like this ride for a number of reasons—the road is relatively flat, there are lots of other bikers and walkers, and the traffic is slow.
On this ride, there is even a sign to encourage car and truck drivers to watch out for bikers and walkers.
There is Maranacook Lake, gleaming beside us as we ride.
This time of year the lupines are in bloom. Such a cheery burst of purple.
In Maine, the gardens aren’t in full bloom yet, but Joan’s peonies have started to blossom, and although they are not my favorite flower, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of one of them. (Yes, yes, I will admit it. They are lovely. I don’t know why I’m such a grump about peonies.)
Whatever the season, there is always something to notice on this bike ride. My friend Cheryl has observed that a person riding a bike can achieve a perfect speed—faster than walking but slower than a car. On a bike, a rider can cover quite a few miles while still observing the land, the sky, the water, people, and animals.
Even though we are late this year, Clif and I still have many months ahead of us for biking. Let the season commence.