Icy Field on N. Pleasant Near Cowls Road

I’m a total sucker for blue skies. I mean, look at that swath of brilliant blue! I took this picture on my bike ride through chilly but sunny Amherst, Massachusetts this morning. I wanted to take the Norwottoch bicycle path to Northampton at the suggestion of the family, but the thing is still covered in ice, and my rental bike has slick tires, not to mention the fact that I have absolutely no experience cycling through snow. I decided to cycle on the road, and ended up heading out North Pleasant, through the U Mass-Amherst campus, and then out to the 116. It was such a pleasant ride from the perspective of bike riding–sunshine, lovely views, quiet (students don’t appear to be back from break quite yet). The ride made me miss my bikes from home, but other than that, I felt at home, happy to be able to pedal in a new place. And the hills? Yeah, that’s different, but I’m doing ok and learning to converse intelligently with these things called “gears.” I rode back through the town center and then just did laps around the neighborhood, listening to the last minutes of a podcast about the earthquake in Haiti, wondering what to do, what to do about a world where I have the leisure to cycle around aimlessly while others suffer despairs I can’t even imagine, no matter how many news stories I watch or listen to. What are we going to do?

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