Thunder and a Cool Breeze
Absolutely wild thunder, lightning and a drenching rain in the middle of the night last night, following several days of 100-degree, thigh-sticking, humid weather. When I looked out this morning, the pavement was dry(!), and the leaves were moving in a breeze.
Good day for a bike ride!
After my morning ablutions and a good breakfast of sauteéd veggies and eggs, I geared up, grabbed the bike and set foot out my door. Wow! Dramatically cooler than the rest of the week! The air was even chilling on my bare arms! Perfect.
My canal-side path had already become customary, a “safe” and known choice. As I approached the intersecting crossroads, I glanced to right and left, intrigued. OK. Today, I’d wander off and explore! What towns lay to either side of the canal? What did the front of a building look like when I had only been looking at its back side? I took an easy, relaxed pace.
From the south ring of Milano, the canal passes through or near Assago, Rozzano, Badile, Zibido and Binasco, going toward Pavia. At either side there are shopping centers, warehouses and office complexes. There are contemporary, glaze-bricked high-rise apartment buildings, and old, single-story dwellings with tile rooftops and flaking stucco. There are rice paddies (yes!) and corn, tasseled out and higher than my head. I smell lunches being prepared as I ride past open doors and windows. The scent of algae in canal water is the closest I get to a saltwater, low-tide beach. Fish school and swell, heads pointing upstream.
One little side road had a very official-looking sign pointing to an agricultural cooperative. That looked interesting! I followed the one-lane road for a ways but could see that the farm must be located on the other side of the parallel freeway, so I’ll save that for a later day-excursion.
Badile had an easy “off”, so I hustled my bike across the busy road, on foot, and headed east. Little pizzerie, photogenic old churches, more modern apartments, gardens, fields… and the sign for the local cimitero. I’m a sucker for a cemetery anywhere in the world. I marvel at the stories deduced and the empathy aroused when reading gravestones. Markers for war heroes and little children always get me, and I walk amidst the graves reciting the names. Always.
After three hours of strolling on two wheels, I headed back north to home. Two blocks from my apartment I had a close call with a car pulling out of its parking spot, its front end all of a sudden in my path. I left a black rubber mark on the pavement as I braked, and rode into the freshly-vacated parking spot… and then I kept on rolling homeward. Whew. That was enough of a ride for the day. I had had my excitement, my wonder and my exercise.