It was a foggy, cool, and wet Tuesday and I had to decide if I was going to ride outdoors; I didn’t notice the branches swaying due to wind. I hoped this was actually a true observation and I wouldn’t be suckering myself into riding on a truly nasty day. I had a feeling that today, regardless of the poor weather conditions, would be an ideal day for a ride. When I get in the mood where outdoors really appeals to me, I must answer the call!
I got dressed in my traditional “ninja” style of clothes; leggings, hooded base layer, and a black wind/waterproof jacket. Helmet and gloves on, I lugged my bike out the door and hoped for the best. I could tell within the first few seconds it would be just fine. The wind wasn’t strong and the damp made me feel invigorated. I imagined myself to be a solitary creature out in the wilderness, like a panther, slinking through the fog and drizzle. I came upon a rider at the end of Dug Road, I gave my “On your left” call and went around him. As I passed I noticed he was on a road bike. He was dressed for the elements like someone who knew what they were doing, and I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive. I’m not huge into passing unless I know full well I can stay ahead; I wasn’t interested in playing a game of biking ballet. However, this gave me a push to make myself work a little harder than usual. I sped up the first set of switchbacks; determination on my brow and cold air filling and leaving my lungs. My lungs actually burned; a feeling that I have not had for some time. I should’ve used my inhaler ahead of time, but didn’t think I would test myself today.
When I got to the top, I looked behind me to see where the rider was at. I didn’t see him and with that, rode downhill as fast as I could; imaging myself as a professional rider when going around corners. There is something very pleasing when you can be one with the bike, when you sway in and out from corners as if you were dancing a waltz with a partner.
As I went over the highway bridge, I looked back to see if I could see the man behind me. Not seeing him, I still kept going a bit speedier than usual. I knew there were some climbs coming up that slow me down, and today was a ride to push myself a little.
On that ride I also saw a bald eagle soar down not far from me; a stunning sight! How fast I was going and my end time were of no interested to me this day. My goal was simple, enjoy the ride and give it my all. Experiencing the beauty of the green grass against the grey sky, and feeling as tho I was transitioning into spring instead of eventual winter. Seeing nature and being one with my bike, pushing myself and feeling free.
All rosy cheeked and breathless I climbed the stairs to my door; smiling that smile of mine when I feel exhilarated and filled with joy.