Commentary by Danielle Wilson
For the life of me, I could not think of anything to write about this week until I spent two and a half hours on a bike, cycling through the small towns and farms just north of where I live. If that sounds miserable to you, believe me, it was. Every single minute of it was an exercise in concentration, perseverance and bladder control. But I’m hell-bent on finishing a half-Ironman in June, and just because the temperature is an unseasonable 43 degrees with wind gusts of up to 25 mph does not mean you can go back to bed on a Saturday. There’s guard practice to carpool and dance competitions to attend!
Anyhoo, back to my two-wheel road trip. I’ve always had remarkably strong powers of observation (it’s a gift), so I decided to put them to use, at least when I wasn’t accidently heading for a ditch or purposely peeing in one. I was absolutely amazed at the weird and wonderful and undoubtedly disturbing things I saw within a 10-mile radius of my house.
There were horses, cows, geese and hogs; honeysuckle, roses, poison ivy and dandelions; Colts flags, IU basketball hoops, WHS signs and a rogue Patriots banner (How dare you, sir!). I smelled bonfires and fresh manure and gasoline; rode past new subdivisions, crumbling Craftsmen and what I’m pretty sure was a meth lab; and discovered a back road that doesn’t even appear on Google maps. I saw dental offices and consignment shops and eggs for sale; was passed by pickups, mini-vans, a semi and a rusty garbage truck; and wondered on several occasions how long we’d last after a Yellowstone super volcano eruption with all the silos and water towers punctuating the landscape. (I recently read “Ashfall,” and it makes a zombie apocalypse look like a clogged toilet.)
My toes froze, my sunglass were blown off and with the wind I think I actually was pedaling backwards at times. But I was rewarded with a fascinating look at rural Indiana and something non-controversial to write about for the week. Peace out.