Sunday, April 14, 2013

In the new moon's arms

Heading up the first hill on Petaluma Point Reyes Road, Tim and I are moving at exactly the same pace. It's unbelievable luck. For different reasons we're both in our small chainrings. Tim's quad muscles and knees are sore, so he can't push. My stomach is shut down, so when my legs push it feels like I'm going to throw up.

Tim can chat but is worried about annoying me. Kind of amazing he's able to think about someone else. It's OK, I say. Silence means I feel too bad to talk, that's all.

He even waits for me to catch up after the downhills! My wobbly wheel and caution make descents go a little slower. I could not ask for better company.

And that's how it goes. Three little climbs and one bigger one. Two climbs on Nicasio. In front of us only White's Hill, Camino Alto, Alexander Ave. We're going uphill slowly enough that even wearing all these clothes, there's no sweating. That means going downhill, no additional chill factor. This is the third time Tim's mentioned the fleece sweatshirt and sleeping bags in his truck. It is chilly out here. And quite dark.

At one point he says "look at the stars". Above us is an incredible tapestry, a midnight blue background scattered with small white points. This is definitely one of the reasons I do these rides. Noticing the moon, my heart catches a little. The new moon is a thin white crescent and around that you can see the outline of rest of the moon, dark and backlit. It's a phase Native Americans call The Old Moon in the New Moon's Arms.

Last night, looking into the abyss took me to a truly empty place. A place of alienation and fear, where life is random and does not make sense. It's frightening to go there. You need more than that to believe in yourself enough to ride a 400k. A little self-soothing, please.

That image of the moon came to mind. The near-round of darkness, held by sliver of light. The darkness not so much about fear as possibility. The negative space, the positive space; one whole thing.

If I didn't feel like I was going to die from nausea at any moment, I'd be ecstatically happy.

After following Tim's wheel across the Golden Gate Bridge, we finished at 2:51 Sunday morning. The yogurt stayed in its bottle and without his and Danny's help it's not clear I would have finished. Thanks Tim, and best of luck on LEL!

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