Mist condenses on my bare hands, cooling them gradually. I can feel the finest drizzle against my face, and water droplets cling to my now dew-heavy beard. The morning is silent now that I’ve left the road. There is no wind, no sound of another person. I stand, still astride my bike. Pause for thought.
The morning was dingy enough that my little blinking LED lights provide some illumination in the woods, despite dawn being well over an hour ago. Tree cover preserved dry lines, and I kicked up loamy dust, a last hurrah of summer. Still waking up, I cruised in autopilot, neither pushing hard, nor taking my time, just moving at a natural pace, freewheeling, letting the bike do my physical work while my mind is elsewhere.
The seasons are changing. We move into autumn. Around me there are the earliest signs of the inevitable. I miss what feels like the endless daylight of summer. We don't need to hurry. There is still more time. Even though we know there will be an end we try not to think about it and embrace the now. We face winter together, hoping, wishing, for another spring.
I click into my pedal, with a sandy crunch, damp earth stuck to the bottom of my shoe. My freewheel clicks and adds a familiar soundtrack to my familiar location. I ride home to pick up your things and carry on riding to the hospital.