|Fans of the blues-rock duo The Black Keys might recognize|
this little gas station which served as the backdrop for some
of the band's album art photos.
I took my Rivendell Long-Low for this ride since it seemed like the perfect riding partner for today. We had quite a bit of rain the last couple of days, so I figured a bike with fenders would be a good choice (I was right). I also didn't need to carry much with me, and the Riv is currently unencumbered with racks or bags apart from a little "banana bag" seat-pack. The bike has such a nice comfortable ride, and I'd describe the handling as light and sprightly. I have bikes that weigh a good bit less than the Rivendell, but on the road the bike feels lighter than it is.
|The Black Keys made the little|
garage something of an icon.
|This old gas station has been closed for quite a while. How long?|
The price on the old pumps is listed in "cents per gallon"
and can't go above 99.9 cents. It's Pure Pep!
As I exited the Towpath in Peninsula, I encountered another rider who had been on the path, covered in mud, and with that signature wet muddy stripe up his back. Once again, I was glad for fenders.
|An old general store, now a visitor center for the Towpath.|
The ride today reminded me a little of one of my first after-Christmas rides about 30 years ago. On that day, temperatures got up into the upper 50s (at least) despite the fact that we had gotten quite a bit of snow during the days before Christmas. It was such an anomaly to be dressed for spring-like weather when the ground all around was still covered in snow, and icicles hung from rooftops. On that ride, I'll never forget how I had found a package on the side of the road, neatly wrapped in foil and lovingly tied with a Christmassy ribbon and bow -- I could only assume it had been unceremoniously pitched out the window of a passing car the night before. I opened up the package and discovered that it was a fruit cake. Still makes me laugh. Christmas season rides have become a regular occurrence for me ever since, and I still keep my eyes peeled for discarded fruit cake.
So, why is it called Boxing Day? Traditionally in Britain, the day after Christmas was when people would give a gift or gratuity, often called a "Christmas Box" to various types of servants, such as postmen, errand boys, and people in certain other sorts of service trades. I suppose in today's society, it would be the traditional time to give a gift to your mail man. Here in the U.S. where the day after Christmas is another big shopping day, perhaps second only to "Black Friday," I imagine a lot of people assume that "Boxing Day" means boxing up the gifts we don't want and returning them to the mall to get something we really want.
I like my tradition better.