Murhpy’s Law came into play this week. As we all know, last weekend at this time I was sweating it out, not sure if the power would come on before the Walking Dead. (It did with minutes to spare!)
Tuesday – Friday though, it was warm, the sun was out and it was perfect cycling weather. I, of course, was 30o miles away from my bike in Spokane! The cycling gods did NOT smile on me! Damn that Murphy…
Saturday dawned clear and warm, but there were branches down everywhere AND the grass was in dire need of the first spring mow. My heart wanted to be out on two wheels, but the adult in me knew I had to get the yard done as Sunday was forecasted to be wet!
The wet forecast was annoying in another way. I had already signed up for the 50 mile McClinchy mile ride Sunday, so not only did I miss out on 4 great days, the first chance I had to ride was NOT going to be fun.
Sometimes, though, the weather gods take pity, I was up early, and expecting to hear raining pouring down. Instead, it was dry, cloudy, but dry. Plus it was warm! Mid 40s at 6AM, hell it was bike short weather!
Now momma Stroh did NOT raise a fool! This ride for the last 5 years has rained, blown and one time snowed on me. I was NOT going out unprepared. So, unlike other riders, I had the yellow bag mounted
And I had it chock full of rain gear
Luckily though, aside from a few VERY short spits of rain, I stayed dry, there was no need for any of the extra gear.
But that is not the reason for this post….
For some reason, I was one of the first riders out on the route, and there are 3 or 4 different ones to choose from. I rode almost 20 miles without seeing another rider, and there were only a handful of cars. (Cows, sheep, horses, chickens and 2 donkeys yes, riders no…)
And it hit me. This is the kind of riding I love. Great weather, back roads, no cars, no people, easy to follow routes, and just me….
As I rolled along I could see the snow capped cascades in the distance. It made me think about the years I tried, and did NOT succeed
For over 10 years I did my damnedest to climb the biggest mountains I could find to no avail. But then it hit me. I was always with others climbing at their pace, breaking when they wanted to. What would have happened if I climbed the way I rode. Alone, listening to my body, and going at whatever speed worked for me.
Editors note: Yes there is that whole worry about crevasses, avalanches, and falling off the damn mountain if you climb alone. So do NOT worry, I am not planning on it.
Then at one point I realized I hadn’t really noticed that I had been pedaling for miles on end. When the weather and road hit that sweet spot, the mind goes into a zen state. The legs can simply take care of themselves, and keep the bike moving. No thought goes to moving forward or maintaining speed, it just happens. Yep it is almost like floating.
Editors note 2: Sometimes letting the mind wander too much can cause you to miss a turn… This may have happened once, ok twice today…
I relish the longer rides. There was no hurry, all the stress of work and flying and yard work and life in general were gone. I thought about rides I had taken, and those that were coming up. Hills that I had conquered and those I wanted to climb again. I pondered my decision to retire from the STP and to make the RAMROD a one time thing, and decided I was dead on.
Finally, I again affirmed that cycling, more than anything I have ever done for exercise, is the right thing for me. I wish I had realized this much sooner in life. Who knows where I might’ve ridden and what I mighta seen if I started fresh out of college. But, this old fart has a lot of miles left in these legs and I plan to ride every inch.
So today was a great day, 50 miles, no rain, spring temps (it hit 52) and I am a happy man…
Like the wind y’all.