Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Being Lonely or Being Alone

I’ve always been a bit of a loner personality—not an easy joiner, not a good schmoozer.

Of course, when I was young that tendency added to a sense of isolation and loneliness. I think I’m long past that life stage, and often find myself pleasantly alone.

There’s a big distinction between being lonely and being alone, and my “alone” time today was nice. For my bike training today, I headed north on the Cedar Valley Trail, wondering where it would be closed (it periodically has been lately as they prepare for paving work n a stretch of the trail).

As it turned out, none of it was closed, at least not as far as I rode. Without planning to go that far, I ended up in Center Point.

Although it was hot today, I was riding in the late afternoon. Took water with me, which I had consumed by the time I got to Center Point, but they have a convenient drinking fountain at the old depot.

I anticipated a tough ride back—the wind was my friend on the way up. But the trail gods smiled, and the wind on my return had shifted so it was more of a cross breeze than a headwind. Any biker can tell you wind is either your friend or your enemy, and a cross breeze is not your friend—but I’ll take it over a headwind when I’m 12 ½ miles north of Hiawatha trying to get back to a home 15 miles away.

A 30 mile ride!

About 10 miles north of Hiawatha, the trail became woody, almost “lions and tigers and bears oh my” woody, but I didn’t mind. The trees increased my sense of isolation, but it was of the pleasant “alone” variety, not the lonely kind.

And I wasn’t as alone as I thought. I paused to shoot the tree-trail photo shown on this post, and noticed, after I had stopped, a house off through the trees to the right with two people enjoying the warm, shady late afternoon. Besides the pair, there were a couple of dogs, too—mean looking brutes (not bikers’ friends). As they ran at me barking, I heard a woman’s yell.

“Oscar!” Oscar? I was almost chomped like a hotdog by a dog named Oscar? Well, not really, the dogs clearly ran at me, the woman clearly yelled to stop Oscar (the other apparently either had a name too embarrassing to yell or she knew if Oscar stopped, so would Persephone), but they were rather far off. Not what I would call a close call at all, really, and not much of an intrusion into my delicious alone ride.

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