Everybody loves a parade

So I did manage to ride on my 69th birthday. The weather gods here in Maine held off on the gunky conditions long enough for me to pedal 16 miles. Not much, but better than nothing.


Patrick the Pedaler participates in a parade.

The next day, because of our first taste of snow during the overnight, I went in search of dry, ice-free roads. So I headed north into Augusta, which I rarely do. My arrival into the Pine Tree State's capital city was accompanied by the sound of sirens, coming from a side street on my right. I didn't give it a second thought and just kept cruising along in my own little world.


But as I progressed up the road I noticed all these bundled up people standing around, looking my way, seemingly waiting for something. I glanced over my shoulder. Those emergency vehicles — making all the noise — were now right behind me. Where was the accident? Where was the fire? Was I in trouble with the law once again?


No, nothing of the sort. They were actually leading the annual holiday parade ... and I had cut in front of it. And get this. I believe the spectators thought I was part of the show; many of them waving at me enthusiastically, especially the kids, and shouting out "hello" as I glided by.


Granted, I did have on my shiny, new red helmet, but I don't think anyone mistook me for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was pretty bizarre, and it just goes to show that you never know what you might encounter from the seat of your bicycle.


MILEAGE UPDATE: I'm currently at 6,357. Only 643 more miles to reach 7,000. Even though I only missed two days of cycling for the whole month of November, this is going to be a slog. This time of year — with the typical cold, windy conditions — it's taking me around 26 minutes to crank out five miles; in the summer it's 17-to-19 minutes.


A colleague at the bike shop commented the other day that I should reach my goal, especially with the use of an indoor trainer. I said, yes I do utilize a stationary bike, but I never count those miles. All my totals involve distances cycled outdoors.


'Thought for the day'


"I won! I won! I don't have to go to school anymore." — Eddy Merckx, after winning his first bicycle race


From "Words To Ride By ... Thoughts on Bicycling" by Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, 2017)

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