Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Light Above the Bike Shop

I was driving home from the Berkshire Hills last week with a friend, when we passed the Arcadian Shop ... a wonderful outdoors store full of hiking and climbing gear, clothes, books, a cafe, friendly staff, and a fantastic bike section. Located in the heart of western Massachusetts, the store always felt to me like a kind of gateway to the rugged, more adventurous corners of the beautiful Berkshires.

Driving by it that evening though, it was well past open-hours and the shop was completely dark ... all except for one lone light in an upper corner window. I didn't have a camera, so I painted this picture over the weekend...

I took a lot of creative license with this painting (i.e. I left out things I didn't know how to paint). So be sure to check out the Arcadian Shop website if you would like a more accurate idea of what it looks like!

We passed the shop so quickly in the car that I couldn't see anything inside the lit window. It was just one warm yellow square in an otherwise dark building.

So I thought to myself ... why is that light on? Did someone simply forget to turn off the stockroom lamp? Or maybe the owner was sitting at a desk in the upper room, adding up the receipts for the day. Yes, that was probably it.

But that's not where my mind went...

Instead, I imagined that somewhere inside the store, the shop-owner's road bike was leaning against a wall, and he or she was upstairs, sitting at the computer late into the night, writing about the day's adventures on the bike. Maybe it was a tough climb on the dark and winding Richmond Mountain Road. Or a monumental trek up Mt. Greylock. Or it could just as easily have been a contemplative spin around the little Berkshire village of Lenox that inspired that nighttime typing.

Whatever the chosen road, the romance and adventurous spirit of cycling lives on long after a ride has ended. A great bike shop reminds me of those feelings. So if you happen to pass by your own neighborhood bike shop late at night and notice that a light is still on, be sure to be quiet. You never know what wonderful stories are in the process of being told...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jason, It's so good to find you back on your bike, weather permitting, and blogging. I loved your ethereal painting. You have a keen sense of observation. Leah