Early Saturday mornings are my favorite time to ride--light traffic, cooler weather, lots of sights, sounds, and smells. This morning was foggy, but the fog around my neighborhood was light enough for cycling. However, as I descended into the Chesterfield Valley--a flood plain for the Missouri River--the fog thickened. I turned onto Edison Avenue, a new road not yet opened to automobile traffic. Since I was safe from drivers who would not see me in the fog, I pedaled on, but I had to stop several times to clean the condensation from my glasses. I could barely see, but I could see enough to avoid the rollerblader and the jogger sharing the road with me. When I got to the end of the closed road, I decided that the fog was too thick to cycle with automobile traffic, so I turned around and headed home. A ride I had intended to be about thirty to forty miles had become an eleven-mile ride.
The fog was so thick that every hair on my arms held a droplet of water turned opaque by sunscreen and insect repellent. Though the pavement was dry, water sprayed from my wheels. My shoes were wet. Rising up through the fog were giant coils of black flexible drain pipe, spaced along the road, waiting to be buried, installed...whatever. The stoplights at each end of this stretch of road materialized only a few feet before their intersections. To the north of the road were the dim outlines of loading docks for strip malls, and to the south, running parallel behind a drainage ditch and an embankment, a single railroad track then the hills at the edge of the valley. About midway along the road a songbird carried on. Otherwise, it was quiet. I found myself wishing I had lights; it was a beautiful morning.