Summer is the season where events mark the beginning the middle and the end. For a school boy those dates are fairly obvious, end of school, 4th of July and beginning of school. I never liked school as a boy, it wasn't until university that I looked forward to fall. As a boy summer was full of adventure, lazy days in the sun playing baseball and riding my bicycle. When I became a young man and went off to university summer was three months of hard work, fighting forest fires and being away from friends and sweethearts (well really only one sweetheart).
At the age of 59 summer still has the same importance it did as when I was a boy of 15. It is a time to enjoy the sun, get outdoors, ride a bike hike in the mountains eat raspberries out of the garden, and even if one isn't supposed to get some sun. As an adult though summer doesn't have the feeling of doom when it is over. I also love the fall, and to this day when I start seeing back to school sales I am so pleased that isn't me. Fall has a better taste when school isn't involved.
It would come as no surprise that summer's defining moments are cycling events. The end of the Giro in May is the start of my summer. The Tour de France in July is my high summer, and The Oregon Bicycle Ride, though in August, signals the end of real summer is coming. It seems when I leave for OBR the temperatures are hot and the days are still long, and when I get back the days seem so short and the temperatures have receded from the 90s into the lower 80s. I know then that cyclo cross is coming soon and busy days in the store are pretty much over.
Of course even those things change. In the 80s Sunnyside's busy days started at the Pole Pedal Paddle and ended with July, now the busy days start in March and don't really end until the middle of September. That is not only to do with the population of Bend but also with our habits. Cycling has become a 12 month activity, not a 3 month one.
In my photos this blog I have include a few that mean something to me. One is a photo of Tumalo Mountain with moon at about 6am from halfway up Farewell Bend trail. Riding a bike in the wee hours of morning is the best, especially with a friend who happens to be as insane as I. The next photo is Serena (that same friend) racing in the Cascade Cycling Classic. She did quite well by the way. The next photo is a pro racer drafting his team car up the Shevlin Park hill. This is called cheating by the way, even in the Tour it would be called cheating. The last photo is of course of our adversaries in the Tour this year, Alberto and Andy. They put on quite a show and I thank them for that.
I hope your summer is as meaningful as mine.