With cooler temperatures coming in, I’ve been able to get out for walks and bike rides lately. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at all the other people who are emerging from their air-conditioned houses to do the same. I’m seeing some of the same people go by on my walks and rides, especially one older lady on a green tricycle bike. Get out of her way! She gives me a friendly smile as I stand to the side.
It feels good to be out walking. The leaves haven’t really started changing yet, but their colors are fading so I expect that first yellow leaf any day now. The dreaded raking season lies just ahead. Our neighbor has a maple tree with a bazillion leaves on it. She’s a nice person and we get along very well, but she doesn’t do yard work and her yard contractor doesn’t rake leaves. Last year, I raked her yard and bagged three bags full. Otherwise, the leaves blow into my wood chips, and I can’t rake them out of that. To maybe help alleviate the problem, I planted morning glory next to fence between us that I hope will block her leaves and keep them on her side of the fence. I wish the vines were a little thicker, but we’ll see if that strategy helps me.
As the weather cools and more people walk, bike, scoot, and skate down the Greenbelt, I’m thankful to have a path so close to the house. There are loops that make a convenient route for exercise. The scenery is pretty along the river and parks. Several backyards are nicely landscaped. It’s a pleasant way to spend time doing what the PA ordered.
In the olden days when I did field work, I’d start riding a bicycle on a trainer in the basement in front of the TV in March. Springs in South Dakota were too cold to be outside, but waiting too long to get in shape would hurt more when field season came around. So I’d spin away on the trainer for about an hour every day after work. I watched TV occasionally, but mostly I read books while spinning. I read at least one Harry Potter book and all the Lord of the Ring books while sitting on the bike. By the time I got through several books, it would be time to get out in the field.
Field season took care of summer’s exercise. We’d walk a lot of miles every day. The scenery changed, the terrain changed, and sometimes the skies changed. I learned orienteering very well, using a compass and reading quad map to find my route as well as someone using a GPS unit. By the time the snow flew ending field season, I was in great shape. I’d sit all winter writing reports, getting out of shape until starting the process again in the spring and reading more books. The exer-cycle.
I’m too old to do what I used to do. Frankly, I’m happy with my paved path that doesn’t need a map to follow.