Discover more from Are You Not Entertained?
Silly signs, bikes, and a lighthouse.
First: Welcome new subscribers! A bunch of new readers joined the past few days. It’s great to see you.
And, what better way to start out than with a post that looks nothing like what I normally write? I’ve been spending most of my Substack-related time working on the War of the Worlds project, and I’m away on an end-of-season bike trip this week.
That’s a bike route sign from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Some of you might recognize the Cape’s distinctive shape in the bottom left corner of the sign. The first time I saw one of these signs, I thought a storm had removed part of its green finish. The second time, the same damage puzzled me. When I saw the third, I realized what that shape is.
Maybe it’s my new contact lenses. Maybe affixing a sign for visitors with a shape more familiar to locals is a silly design choice.
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The riding here has been a lot of fun. Marjie Alonso, who wrote about how John Snow (remember him from Game of Thrones?) solved cholera this week, on her Pieces of String Too Small to Use Substack this week, has been gracious enough to host my friend and I while we explore the Cape on two wheels. Check out her Substack and considering subscribing. I find her weekly posts inspirational.
I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy cycling before. It’s always been my favorite way to see the world, and this is the second time I saw the Cape this way. I was here with a touring group last year, and I came back again to see it again with Bob, a friend since high school.
Tuesday was overcast and cold, making it the first day of autumn riding for me. It took me a while to adjust, but after a few miles on the beautiful Cape Code Rail Trail, I remembered how much I enjoy riding in the Fall. The foliage, which is only starting to turn here on the Cape, is beautiful of course; but there’s something special about the cool air. It has a special fragrance (I don’t mean pumpkin spice) and feel to it.
As a boy, Fall meant back to school. Like any kid, I complained about being to class all day, having homework again, and dealing with mean teachers. But I also knew it meant seeing all my friends again, too. Everyone would be back from vacations and in class. So, after a week of warm weather, Fall set in. The ride to school felt a little easier, and time with friends replaced the boring last couple weeks of August.
Now Fall doesn’t mean back to school or even back to work. It means long pants, a light jacket, and easier riding when you don’t have headwinds. It also has built-in justification for more frequent coffee breaks. (I still don’t mean pumpkin spice.)
When you see things on a bike, you slow down and take in the scenery. Here’s Bob taking time out to inspect the terrain while changing a flat near Chatham.
Chatham is a beautiful town that I missed last year, so it was the first place we headed to on Tuesday. It has a cool downtown with lots of shops, great places to eat, and beautiful architecture.
Here’s the Chatham Lighthouse. I was experimenting with a wide angle lense, so the colors and exposure aren’t perfect.
Let me make up for it with this sunset off of Marjie’s deck. Even I can’t mess up a sunset.
I can also mess up a picture of my beautiful bicycle by standing in front of it.
We had very limited sun today, so naturally I asked Bob to take a picture of me squinting into it.
This is allegedly a science fiction Substack, so I need top relate this trip to a set of science fiction novels.
S.M. Stirling is the author of both the Emberverse and Nantucket series of science fiction novels. Both start with “The Event” where a mysterious force disables all modern technology in the present world, while simultaneously sending the island of Nantucket, along with a nearby Coast Guard ship, back to 1250 BCE. The Nantucket books cover an alternate history where people with knowledge about modern technology and severely limited resources have to figure out how to survive in a very hostile past. I picked up the first book knowing nothing about it and finished all three in less than two weeks. They’re a must read for alternate history fans.
See you next week!