cycling · fitness · season transitions

Argh dark, but also wow fall rides: Themes from Sam’s past autumn posts

When you’ve been blogging for six years you notice trends. It’s September and I’m nervous about losing the evening light. I’m sad about losing some of my favorite activities. And worried about the effect of fall dark on my mood. I’m also happy about riding in the fall, cooler temperatures, no big goals, and beautiful colours.

Those are feelings now and they are also frequently the topic of fall blog posts through the years.

So the themes from my fall blog posts are:

1. September sadness:

See Struggling with September Sadness and The night is (soon to be) dark and full of terrors

You can get a sense of the flavour of fall sadness by reading this piece The Summer That Never Was. It beautifully connects end of summer melancholy with thoughts of mortality.

I suspect that the way I feel now, at summer’s end, is about how I’ll feel at the end of my life, assuming I have time and mind enough to reflect: bewildered by how unexpectedly everything turned out, regretful about all the things I didn’t get around to, clutching the handful of friends and funny stories I’ve amassed, and wondering where it all went. And I’ll probably still be evading the same truth I’m evading now: that the life I ended up with, much as I complain about it, was pretty much the one I chose. And my dissatisfactions with it are really with my own character, with my hesitation and timidity.

2. Autumn and evening dark: The pictures at the top are from the last weeknight of Snipe racing. We barely got two races in before we lost our wind and our light. It’s too dark now in the evening to make it worthwhile to start racing at 6:30. There are some weekend afternoon races but the regular Tuesday night club races are done for the season.

Last week I got caught out on my bike without headlights. I forgot how early it was getting dark now. I won’t do that again.

Partly for me it’s also about driving. Because of my eye condition, I can’t drive at night. When night comes before work ends, my life can feel pretty limited. It’s a good thing I ride my bike well into the winter. I’m also walking distance from work, downtown, and the mall.

You can read about Fuchs Dystrophy, a condition that makes driving at night tricky here, The four eyed athlete. It’s also the subject of a profile over at The Disabled Philosophers blog.

So what’s my plan?

I’ve got my bike ready to go with lights.

Sarah and I have planned a September canoe trip.

I’m going to sign up for swimming lessons.

I’m thinking about this CBC piece on end of summer sadness and the positive effect of thinking of September as a new start.

I’m going remind myself how much I love to ride in the fall by actually doing it. Because amid all the fall sadness there’s also quite a few expressions on the blog of how much I love to ride my bike.

How about you? What feelings and thoughts so you associate with fall?

5 thoughts on “Argh dark, but also wow fall rides: Themes from Sam’s past autumn posts

  1. Thanks for this, Sam. I read the piece, “The Summer that Never Was”, and it touched many nerves and feelings I have about the end of summer. Today is Labor Day in the US, a day where I want to go off and ride my bike by the ocean, but where I inevitably work frantically on syllabi and also getting my house ready for fall/school season (I don’t really know what that means, but I seem to do it each year nonetheless).

    But you also remind me that I love fall riding. The coolness and leaves (New England has its advantages), and riding off road on familiar trails in the dark with friends after work. The summer never lasts long enough, but in 2–3 weeks we’ll be on new paths. Sighing…

  2. Except for losing the light (and even that is ok), I love autumn. Basically, I love that there are 4 seasons and cyclical change. It gives me a chance to change too (clothes, activities and mental state). I’m struck by the idea that how we approach fall might echo or mirror how we approach death.

  3. It’s still warm here in FL, with a decent amount of light in the days, so I’m staunchly pretending the cold and dark won’t come! In another few weeks, I know I’ll have to contemplate moving into fall/winter mode, but I’m just not ready.

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