The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cupcakes and Bare Trees

On Saturday, a big group of my cycling friends helped Katie celebrate
her birthday. She always plans a bike ride and a party for her
birthday. This year she planned a ride from SUNY Purchase, followed
by a tailgate party. She brought cupcakes and a cooler filled with
beer. She invited others to post rides from the same location, trying
to coordinate the rides so they all got back at about the same time.
So on a breezy cool November day, small groups of cyclists rode off in
different directions, and when we returned, about 60 of us pulled an
assortment of food and beverages out of our cars, gathered around
Katie and danced around the parking lot drinking beer and eating
cupcakes and lots of other goodies. It was more than a birthday
celebration. It was a celebration of the beauty that can be found in
all the seasons; the joy of sharing the experience with good people.
We decided we need to celebrate more often. It's always somebody's

Whenever I lead rides for the club, I name them using song titles.
This ride was Bare Trees, the title song from the Fleetwood Mac album
released in 1972. We rode to Usonia, a community of about 40 homes in
Pleasantville NY designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He designed the
community, planned the roads and the building lots. He also designed
three of the homes; the rest were designed by his students. They are
all built into the hills and the ridges, blending into the landscape.
It is much easier to see them and appreciate them when the leaves have
fallen and the trees are bare. I had a group of 15 riders -- quite
unexpected on a November day. None of them had ever been to Usonia --
also unexpected. As we rode through, we stopped to have a chat with a
man who has lived there his entire life. The houses are very unique
and very different when compared to your typical Westchester
subdivision! Everyone enjoyed riding through there and having a
chance to consider the creative genius of Wright. Nobody seemed to
even notice some of the crappy rodes we had to navigate to get to and
from Usonia. Or maybe it was the promise of cupcakes and beer. If
you promise them cupcakes they will come.