The last few nights have been cool. Kimmie and I take the long way home each time, letting the darkness envelops us. I like to ride at night, even though my visibility is reduced and I can see the small white tail deer grazing silently on the side of the road at times. What should be familiar takes on odd and threatening shapes. I think of our ancestors of million years ago, knowing that dangers stalked the night; a fear of the dark is not a bad thing. It's a survival instinct...we really don't know what is out there.
Off in the distance on another night, clear of clouds, I see the red flame of a meteor as it makes it way to the Atlantic...it glows like a cigarette tip in the sky before breaking up. I sit and watch it in the middle of the street, partially amazed and partially quietly engaging my scientific mind. I think about angles, about velocity and about how far and long that piece of rock must of traveled to find itself here. Burning up so a lone biker in the middle of Florida could look up in wonder.
It's later now. I still have some way to go. I curse myself for not pulling out my phone, so I could have caught the last moments of this glorious rock to share. There are no other cars out, I pull out and head through town. Past the shuttered buildings of downtown Zephyrhills. I take a turn and the light from a building bleeds out into the street. It's not a comforting light and somehow seems out of place here.
For several nights in a row I consider riding on. The days have been hot and muggy but the nights are anything but, and as I flip up my visor I can sense a change in the air. The endless possibility of summer and the open road.
This is what I love about biking. I don't have a radio to distract me. I don't have a phone ringing or the endless whistle of a text message. I just have the sky to distract me.
I have to remind myself that watching the heat lightening while traveling on an empty road in the middle of the night is not a good thing. Still though, that storm could be 100 miles away and it's power and beauty attract me like a flame attracts a moth.
I wake up early in the morning with only one desire. To ride in the cool morning air and I try to dress without waking Susan. Then I'm off, riding the roads that surround my house, riding with no destination or purpose. A few hours later the heat of day grows, the thunderstorms move in again...and I wonder if I'm back to my old ways. I hope I am.