Two days into 2015. Two mountain bike rides outdoors. What an auspicious start to a new year. Yesterday was cold, one of those rides that started off a little funky but got better quickly. Today…was…freaking…awesomeballs…ummm…awesome.
I know I may look a little cold in this unawesomeballs selfie (I have also embraced my inner selfie) but I was not remotely chilled. Don’t ask me what the temperature was, although my guess is that it was in the thirties. When riding in the woods, the temperature needs to be blueawesomeballs to be cold. With a week or so of dry weather here in Chicagoland, freezing temperatures, the dirt trails are off the charts good around here. My favorite off road spot, Saw Wee Kee park in Oswego, was the best I have seen it. The trails were pristine, perfect. There was sun and lots of scenery that I normally don’t see during the green season. Riding next to the Fox river provided neat views of the ice that was building up as the river freezes. All the little swamps and gullies usually not visible when everything is in bloom were serene and beautiful. In places, I was more aware of the precipices and drop offs at the side of the trail. The whole park looks different during the winter.
Today’s ride is a testimony to having a boss/coworker who understands the importance of giving me my down time. He watched me ride my bike to work for nearly twenty years at our previous job, knows how hard I worked for my previous employer, appreciates even more what I am doing for my current employer. We didn’t just meet the sales goal our company set for our subsidiary, we passed it and were the number one company subsidiary worldwide in our first year of official existence. My boss gives me credit for our success, tells me that there was no way we would have made that goal without me there. This is a boss who appreciates me, knows me very well, and encourages me to take time for myself.
“You coming in to work on Friday? If you do, don’t stay very long. Go get out on the trails.” And he kicked me out this morning with that same exhortation.
My other friends had to work, although Mike just about got out of the chores his wife had for him. It was OK. I liked riding by myself today, just me zipping along the narrow trails in the woods (the trail in the picture is one of the few wide double track trails in the park). Every now and then I could hear the chain hum and the bearings in the free hub click, a truly blissful sound. I closed out the ride by hitting my favorite whoop de doo pump trail, doubling back three times to ride it again. By the last bump in that section, I have so much speed that I leave the ground for at least ten feet. That makes me feel like a kid!