Last week I took advantage of the warmer weather, pulled my bicycle off of the trainer in my spare bedroom, took it down to my garage. The weather was comfortable, with more comfortable weather forecast for the weekend. While it was dark by the time I arrived home from work, too dark to ride the road (it’s just too dicey around here), I did want the bike ready for the weekend. Fresh batteries went into the wireless computer and the fork mounted transmitter. The headlight and rear flasher went back on the bike. Tires were checked, chain cleaned and readied. I prepped a ziplock baggie with spare tube, patch kit, CO2 cartridges and inflator, dollar bills. Gloves, road helmet and head sweat liner, socks, shoes were all set out in their place on the shelf above my bike. A little apprehensive yet excited about my first real road ride in quite a while, I was ready to roll.
Saturday morning emerged with a burst of sunlight through my bedroom windows. I smiled as the brightness peeked through the blinds, rested and ready. My plan was to spend the first part of the morning in my usual way, with a light breakfast and coffee, a few moments of meditation, then the few chores that needed to be done around the house before heading out on the bike by mid morning. Careful not to plop down on the couch lest I get too comfortable, I changed into my cycling clothes — two layers with shorts and a insulated long sleeve mock neck tee as the first layer, thick tights and a long sleeve jersey as the second layer. Wool socks are always my choice for my feet, no matter the weather, so I pulled on my Woolie Boolies then headed out the door. Temperatures were in the low to mid thirties, so I knew that the ride would be a tad brisk, but still comfortable.
There is something wonderfully satisfying about hearing the first click of cleat to pedal, the light resistance straining against my legs for the first pedal strokes followed by a pleasant hum as the wheels spin lightly. There was very little getting used to the feel of the bike underneath me as I have already been out plenty on my mountain bike this year, but the feather light titanium framed beauty that I ride feels like nothing after riding the 10-12 pound heavier mountain bike. There is a pleasure to riding both bikes that I refuse to compare to anything else in life. I will just say that there is a reason that I have been riding for some 25+ years.. and will continue until I am no longer physically able to ride.
My goal for Saturday was simply to spin out the cobwebs, ride for a few hours. That goal was accomplished nicely, with 32 miles on my odometer at the end of the ride, a little better that 16 mph average. The first ride of the year should never feel like punishment to my body, something that was accomplished. There was enough left in me to finish the day, yet enough taken out to let me know that my body would be thanking me the next day. Along the way, I met a woman who was getting ready to ride, a pleasant conversation with an expression of hopes to see each other again out on the road. There was light to almost non-existent traffic, good weather, and plenty of blessing packed into the short time I took getting reacquainted with my titanium two wheeled friend.
Sunday afternoon found me out on the dirt trails again. Our weather dry the last four days, the trails I ride ready. I got 90 minutes in on the mountain bike before I had to quit. I had promised a friend at church that I would fill in for him as an usher for our evening service. The time on the trail was fabulous, especially when I came across my friend, Roy, out on the trail and was able to ride with him for a while.
On the road again, looking forward to more time out. I need to ride. May is around the corner and I have a difficult event to train for!