18 March 2011

Bike commute day 6, to work

Yippee! I dropped a significant amount of time from the morning commute! So it's clear that my heart and lungs are responding well to the intensified work. I'm still healthy, if any doubts were present.

But it wasn't only the heart and lungs (and legs and bike) that contributed to the improved time. I had a superb tune running on "repeat track" in my head. One that starts each phrase with long, connected tones that then release into measures of flowing, sinuous melody without a break for a breath. No words in the opening section, a soprano hums her langour as cellos accompany in a blend of arching melody and quick staccato.

It is Villa-Lobos' "Aria (Cantilena)" from Bachianeris Brasillianas #5. My mind's ear hears Joan Baez in one rendition, then Dawn Upshaw in the next. Both sopranos carry me forward on a swift wind and the intensity of describing the moon's beauty.
Aria (Cantilena) (Ruth V. Corrêa, 1938)

Tarde, uma nuvem rosea lenta e transparente,
Sobre o espaço sonhadora e bela!
Surge no infinito a lua docemente,
Enfeitando a tarde, qual meiga donzela
Que se apresta e alinda sonhadoramente,
Em anseios d’alma para ficar bella,
Grita ao céo e a terra, toda a Natureza!
Cala a passarada aos seus tristes quiexumes,
E reflete o mar toda a sua riqueza…
Suave a luz da lua desperta agora,
A cruel saudade que rie chora!
Tarde, uma nuvem roséa lenta e transparente,
Sobre o espaço sonhadora e bela!
Late through the spacious heavens' beauty waft rosy clouds, slow and wispy! The moon surges quietly from the infinite depths and glorifies the evening as does an innocent beauty, clothes her soul to shield the beauty, and the earth and heavens—and all nature—greet her! Birds end their sad complaints and the seas reflect the moon in total calm... Except the light disperses in a cruel salute like an evil smile. Late through the spacious heavens' beauty waft rosy clouds, slow and wispy!
 I try from mile to mile to reproduce the lyric abandon and flowing line, in a bright whistle that breaks with each breath from my exertion. No matter that one long tone breaks before the next tone, that the flowing sinuousness abruptly stops mid-phrase for another inhalation. It is enough to follow the sopranos' swift lead through the route from downtown to Research Park.

Temperature: 63°F at 07:30, 61°F at 08:55
Precipitation: none
Winds: none
Clothing: Top with 2 layers (Lycra longsleeve undershirt, skinsuit); Bottom with 1 layer (skinsuit); ankle socks. Open-finger gloves. (Warm, almost comfortable.)
Bike: Trek 850
Time: 0:47:00 (approx.) for 12.5 miles
Bikeway users: 0 pedestrians, 5 cyclists, 9 deer

It's a gray, overcast day, and I wait until the clouds transmit a gentle light some time after sunrise. Rain is forecast for the evening, with clearing skies to quickly follow.

08:19—departing from home.

08:31—passing the zig-zag up from the Mad River Bikeway.

08:41—passing the west gate to Eastwood Park.

08:53—passing the trestle remains at Linden.

09:06—arriving at  work.

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