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.
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Poetry Corner April 2014

 

Bicycling with Mom on Foxen Canyon Road

In Memory of Gracie

December 15, 1913 – February 8, 2014

 I thought that you would love this, Mom,

because you once said, as I drove you

over Pinehurst Road and you looked

at the chaparral, “How can God

keep all of this in mind?” And you meant

that it was wonderful and beautiful

every crack in the bark every aspiring

leaf of manzanita turned sideways to the sun.

And because I think that just being outdoors

would thrill you after all that old age

and confinement and solitude

and arthritis and the one-hundred years

of living of which the last ten were

a challenge to us all.  And because together

together we would just love the freedom

and the speed and the risk and the downhills

together.  And because I want you to know

what I do when I go cycling to know how

much I love it and how the cool wind

feels on face and legs and how a bike

can tip and lean and swoop like a hawk

and you would feel what I could never

exactly tell you about the joy of it

in those effortless moments

just before the downhill

and the turning on the curves I could

go on and on.  But I don’t have to

because you’re here and laughing

and crowding in your shrieks and giggles

and the “Watch it!” and “Oh, my God!”

and your face looks forward and intent

on the pleasure of it all the doing it

with me. Your flannel nightgown is

snapping in the wind like a bright flag

in a windy March mid-morning,

like silk robes, like the controlled

feathers of an eagle’s wings,

as if, as if you were an angel like me

and we are in our own particular heaven.