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Sunday Morning

February 19, 2012

Today’s Ride: 58km—Jerseyville, Harrisburg, Orkney

Weather: Sunny, overcast, cool

Out for a couple of hours this morning. The sun was shining, which tricked me into thinking it might be warm. It wasn’t. I find that rides tend to start with either the thrill of exhilaration as a I spin a low gear up my road or my asking why on earth I do this, and why I think it’s fun. Today was one of the latter feelings. Rest assured, that doubt is rapidly erased as I get into the flow of the ride. It has no bearing on the quality of the ride or its enjoyment, but there is a moment of cynicism. I ponder this mechanized form of escape from the rat race, locked into cranks that turn cogs that are part of a grander machinery, reminiscent of the factory of old—the very ones that pro riders from northern Europe sought to escape by riding their bicycles as fast as they could. But it’s a fleeting feeling.

I actually felt reasonably good today, even if I wasn’t pushing myself terribly hard. Some days you ride fast; some days you just don’t have it; and other days you just ride. Today I just rode. Compared with last fall, I haven’t been piling on the kilometers, and my fitness reflects that a bit. The plan was to do a bit more than what is becoming a standard 20km loop. Some rolling hills, some familiar roads, and just spin. I stayed in the inner ring for much of the ride. Wind was blowing, but less a factor in these lower gears. Fitness not there, but coming. But even in lower gears, the legs feel strong. This is good. It will be a good year.

Four or five months ago, I watched this cornfield shift from green to gold. Soon the field will shift to brown (plowed over/under) and then sprout green again (insert pithy remark about cyclical seasons and the nature of cycling...)

Friends along the roadside; and I can't help thinking: "Hey! Bullhorn handlebars!"

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kyle permalink
    February 21, 2012 6:22 pm

    Thanks for the write-up. I find reading about riding enjoyable, especially when I can’t (or don’t). The eloquence of your last line brought endless possiblities to mind. Can’t wait to get out on a regular basis.

    • February 23, 2012 1:48 am

      Last year was the first year where I bullied myself to disregard the weather and ride just about year-round (excepting when the road was covered in lots of snow). It was a revelation and my fitness improved dramatically for it. Of course, you need to have the right gear and that can be an expensive proposition, so I built up the “winter armory” gradually. Last fall, I bought my first beanie and booties, but had been riding in thermal tights and lobster-claw gloves, which was enough to see me through most rides (my ears and toes might disagree). The danger is going soft: I still can’t take off the beanie on rides above freezing, and worry I might wear it right into the summer. Last winter, I just wore a cap under the helmet…

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