Oct. 15, 2010
Total mileage: 3,007
I don’t generally believe in fate, but sometimes life throws the oddest set of circumstances your way.
Last Thursday night I calculated what the odometer would read when I crossed the 3,000th mile for 2010. Turns out it added up to the last two digits of the year I was born. That gave me pause but, not being superstitious, I didn’t think about it for long.
All season I’d been hoping the magic number would appear during a daily commute. Rides with friends are wonderful, but the real backbone of my mileage has been traveling to and from work. When it appeared the commute would win, I decided to mark the occasion by taking a photograph of my surroundings sometime during the 3,000th mile.
The ride home from work last Friday was on a gorgeous fall evening, no wind, and warm with just a slight edge of coolness to the air. My eyes kept drifting to the odometer because I didn’t want to miss it. The number came as I was pedaling behind a retirement community. I smiled at the irony but kept going, across the street and up the hill. Right in the middle of The Mile, I stopped at the field I’d been thinking about every day for the past month, where a cross course had been cut through the grass. I swear I didn’t plan it this way, but oh it was sweet. As I crouched down in the grass to get the Sweetpea into the photo (she had carried me at least 2/3 of the miles), someone at one end of the field fired off a rocket. It sounded for all the world like fireworks.
The neighborhood trees had begun to drop their leaves, yellow and gold and red dabs of color in the streets. On the rest of the ride home, the Sweetpea leaned with me as I swerved to hit them, their papery surfaces making a satisfying crunch as they shattered beneath the front tire. Life is a cycle of beginnings and endings. This ending happened to land on the doorstep of the next beginning. Maybe it was fate after all.