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"Plantar Fasciitis" - two words that make me cringe. I suffered severe pain for years (my hard court tennis years). Custom orthotics and dedicated stretching eventually alleviated the pain (after I had consumed roughly .93% of the annual production output of Ibuprofen worldwide).

I feel your pain. Seriously. I do.

I found my way back to bicycling at age 59. I'm still trying to develop all the necessary skills, too. My next step is to join a cycling club to upgrade my technique and learn "pace line" skills. It's a process, but I'm loving it.

Here's another reason why:

I was riding east on a nameless country road. Wind at my back gently nudging me along. Nothing much to see on either side ‘cept stubble fields. Combines had combed the terrain just days ago.

Nothing much to see else this undulating ribbon of weathered asphalt bisecting endless brown with a few scattered shards of corn leaf offering modest punctuation. Except...a bit farther ahead...I noticed incongruous deep pools of ebony hugging this ribbon of mine. My eyes were never all that discerning to begin with and they’d certainly not improved with age. I was puzzled by what I saw.

Pedals twirling, zephyrs laughing, I arrived soon enough at the shore of this black sea. The entire mass began to vibrate, then levitate. Starlings! Countless bodies rising, wings beating in eerie silence.

I was engulfed in a cloud of feathers. Momentarily lost in motion and black, unable to see even a foot in front of me. Birds literally brushed against my arms and legs in the midst of this ebon fog.

It’s a glorious thing, this business of flying blind through a starling cloud.
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