Welcome! The VeloRaptors are a social group of cyclists based out of Montclair, Oakland. We offer regular rides on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday open to many experience levels and make sure to include a coffee/snack stop along the way. The majority of our rides are 30 miles or less, but we also have a group that enjoys planning longer, more challenging rides.

Poetry Corner

Cowboy Christmas

For V.G.B.

He’s riding out while it’s still dark.
The creak of leather makes
A dry-sweet song, the only mark
On far black mountains’ shape.

In moonset, sage begins to glow,
The horizon faintly lightens.
Star lanterns from the dark hang low;
And make all white things brighten.

So white and blue, so calm and cold,
Man and his horse breathe clouds.
The quiet’s pooled in every fold
Of cloth, of earth, of sound.

Anon he spies a golden speck
That brightens coming nigh
Until he has to bend his neck
And look through creased brown eyes.

Up close there are three Mexicans
Broad hats with bright gold braid,
They smack each string of their guitars,
Full throat their loud refrain.

They sing of every love he’s known:
His mother, dad, dear friends;
And every future love he’s shown,
A girl, a wife, children.

With song they lead him to a shed:
The baby laid inside
Crows, smiles, grabs his hatless head
With laughing baby eyes.

Soft hands, fat feet, the too big face,
The belly like a ball,
All strike inside a deep down place:
Thick tears begin to fall.

When dawn comes clear and night is gone,
He says his thanks and parts.
And rides into the light alone
The song fast in his heart.


Lawrence N. DiCostanzo

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