Wednesday, January 2, 2008

January 2, 2007 - to Dundigul, Tamil Nadu

FROM FRIGID TO HOT. As I shoveled a fresh layer of snow off our sidewalk this morning in 5-degree (Fahrenheit) temperature with the windchill factor hovering at -15, I longed to be in India. There, one year ago on this day, I would have been pedaling along in a short-sleeve jersey and shorts in 90-degree temperatures under a cloudless sky. Here in Indianapolis, I dress in layers for warmth even as the frigid air takes my breath away.

A FEAST FOR THE SENSES. The trek from the outskirts of Madurai to Dindigul on January 2, 2007 was a mere 74 kilometers--our shortest ride day to that point. But even a brief ride in India is still a feast for the senses. You know it's the 21st century because of the aluminum-frame bike, the GPS unit on the handlebars and the cell phone at your side, but the ox-drawn wagon, the women carrying water jars from the hand-pump well and the mill grinding in the village makes you feel like you're in another millenia. This is the reality of India today: ancient and modern, simple and complex, sheltered and exposed, naive and knowing, rich and poor. And all profound.

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