Couches are a tool of the devil.  Rain clouds sometimes blow away without unleashing their wetness upon the landscape.  Spandex is useful even when worn under cargo shorts and a long sleeved tee, yet you can’t cover up dorky.  Cloudy fatigue more often than not is transformed to clear energy when fun exercise is applied.  Life has a  darker grey side and a bright side — and the bright side is always there if you look for it.

There you have it, my words of wisdom and elderly knowledge, relearned or reapplied yesterday evening.  I arrived home from work yesterday evening, a bit depressed by the clouds that loomed overhead and the promise of rain to fall.  Earlier in the day, group texts from my mountain biking friends indicated that the trails were in fantastic shape.  My stomach groaned at me, begged me to be fed, even as my brain told me to take a nap.  Even a cruise on the forest preserve paths close by seemed to be a no go, the looming clouds and cloudy fog in my head an indication that laziness was in order for the evening.  I didn’t want that at all.  I could feel a bit of depression sinking in, common sense fighting to take control of the lazy devil on my shoulder, so riding would energize me and turn my mind back to the bright side.

Part of the cloudy outlook comes from waiting for a factory warranty decision on my Specialized Camber FSR mountain bike.  It’s my baby, a prize of sorts, the first and only new bike I have been able to buy in my 30 years of cycling.  When I discovered the cracked frame last Saturday, my heart sunk even with the knowledge of the factory lifetime frame warranty.  It’s a limited warranty, which my shop reminded me of as they inspected my bike and checked the frame pivot bearings for seizure.  They are not seized, but he told me that the factory could claim they had been seized when the frame cracked, voiding the warranty.  I wanted to argue, wanted to ask why an aluminum frame would crack even with a seized bearing, but hard knocks has taught me to keep the arguments to a minimum.  Good will wins more often than an argument.  I called yesterday afternoon to check on the status of the bike, was told that since the shop is closed on Wednesdays there likely wouldn’t be a decision on the bike warranty until Thursday.  It sucks to wait.

IMG_20190403_120759501On the bright side, a good friend offered to let me borrow his mountain bikes.  He has a hard tail Trek Superfly with carbon frame and wheels, as well as a full suspension carbon Specialized Epic.  The guy is a triathlete, rarely rides his mountain bikes because he follows a training schedule.  He had bought the Superfly when he rode Leadville a few years ago, the Epic just because he had a girlfriend who wanted to ride single track now and then.  I texted him after I pouted on the devil’s tool for a few minutes and observed a few breaks in the clouds.  Go for it, you will be glad you did was what I told myself.  My friend texted me back, encouraged me to take both bikes if I wanted them, gave me the security code to his garage door.

He also asked me to not do anything obnoxious if anyone was looking at his house.  He just listed it for sale.  I am not sure why my friend would be worried about my behavior (wink wink).  I didn’t tell him how I was dressed, as that might have scared potential buyers away as well, spandex ‘capri’ bib shorts underneath ragged old cotton cargo shorts, long sleeved tee underneath a black zip up ski vest.  I told my friend that there indeed had been people looking at his house (a fib) and that I advised them he would knock $10,000 off the price if I could live with them for free.  🙂

I rode the Trek, immediately amazed at how light and responsive the bike felt underneath me.  It took a few minutes to get used to the handling.  The lighter bike was faster, but the tires are set up more for a gravel type of race and not for dirt.  Once I got used to digging into the corners, something I take for granted on my heavier aluminum Camber, I was having a ton of fun.  It doesn’t hurt that my legs are already ready from the past few months of regular riding on my fat tired bike.  My friend, Roy, had arrived at the trailhead at the same time and was riding with me.  Halfway into our ride, he stopped and told me that he was having a hard time keeping up with me.  I had dropped him a few times by then, aware that he was on his third day in a row of riding and was fatigued.  It boosted my mood (and ego) though — normally Roy is the one who is taking it easy for me!

I arrived home, my energy and mood elevated, the grilled chicken and veggies for dinner even more tasty.  The exercise relaxed me so much that I fell asleep texting a friend, who had slipped a bag of peanut butter cookies in my mailbox while I was out riding.

Lessons relearned, old knowledge renewed.  Mister Lazy did not prevail.