Tuesday night was one of the best evenings yet this year.  I visited SWK for a single track ride, the chance to ride in shorts and tee shirt on trails in pristine condition something I just could not pass up.  Weather for the next few days was not predicted to be dry or favorable.  What greeted me when I arrived for my ride was a packed parking lot, with one empty spot next to where my friends Greg and Carrie were parked.  I saw other vehicles I recognized.  It was near certain that I would encounter friends somewhere along the ride, would not be riding alone.

Sure enough, a few minutes in, I came up on a group of 8 friends, all regulars and a few I have not seen since last November.  We were all pumped to be riding together again, on such a perfect evening for a ride.  Perhaps adding to my enjoyment as I joined them was the feeling that I am faster right now, a combo of the added strength from riding the fat bike since last January as well as a lighter body and carbon bike.  I am flying, maybe a little more confident.  During the course of the ride, only the leader was in front of me, and many riders waved me to the front as we entered a trail.  It was a good feeling, one I haven’t had for a while.  Oh, I have had my moments prior to now, but not like it is right now.

My friend is NOT going to get his full carbon Superfly back!  I wish I could keep it.  The speed is an awesome feeling, although with the added speed and ability to clear berms is a difference in handling.  Faster means I need to react quicker to an upcoming obstacle or tight turn, dig in a bit more.  As I get used to the bike, I am beginning to learn how to handle it.  I have yet to find a flow, something that I will need to ride with the faster riders (which may or may not happen), stay off of the brakes and let the bike go.  I had to be conscious of letting the bike slow before a descent and only feathering the brakes on the way down, if at all.

The ride ended in the parking lot with a bunch of us gathered in our chairs behind a friend’s truck, enjoying the stories from our ride well after the sun had gone down.  It was indeed a sublime, energizing evening.

I love to ride.  Have I ever said that?  🙂