I dig snow and the rain and the bright sunshine

March 4, 2013

“Tonight I understood much.”  So starts one of this blog’s first-ever posts.  This evening, also, I understood much.  I got a glimpse of my future cycling self on today’s ride, and I’m very fired up.

On the short drive from my office to the start of the ride, “Draggin’ the Line” by Tommy James was on the radio.  Whether it was the song’s timely reference to “[digging] snow and the rain and the bright sunshine” (the nearly 2 feet of snow we recently got is melting, running random rivers through the streets) or just the upbeat, positive vibe of the song, it seemed to set the tone for what I was heading into.

I chose a route I’ve not previously done.  It is the start of a local RUSA populaire-length (62 mile) route that begins in southwestish Overland Park.  This is a route that I’ve been eyeballing and will likely choose for my (successful!) return to randonneuring (see previous post here).  It’s also a route that contains, for my fitness level, plenty of climbing and lots of rolling-hill action.  This is a course that, not all that long ago, would have whipped me.  Feeling myself a more capable cyclist lately (see previous post here), I wanted to gauge myself against this virgin territory.  I knocked out only a portion of the ride this evening – I had no intentions to attempt a full 62 miler.

This evening indeed I did understand much, and glimpsed my cycling potential that is just dawning.  At times in the ride I imagined myself flying through the French countryside, a carefree and privileged rando enjoying his first (of many?) Paris-Brest-Paris 1200-kilometer brevets.

A certain freedom has evolved for me recently, with my improving fitness, and with it more tools in the toolkit.  Climbing isn’t quite as daunting as it used to be; recovery comes a little faster now; mental factors that exist in-ride are managed with less wasted energy.  Cliche though it is, it’s a little bit like becoming more comfortable in my own skin.  Whatever gift I may have with the language somewhat fails to capture the nuances of what I feel lately, but it’s essentially just becoming more comfortable and confident in my riding ability, in a way I never have before.  My style is evolving, developing; the fitness is coming together.  All the pieces of the puzzle that I’ve worked hard for years to put together are finally falling into place, and in the last few rides – especially tonight – I’ve been able to glimpse the picture.  And, happily, it’s even more galvanizing than I actually imagined it would be.

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One Response to “I dig snow and the rain and the bright sunshine”

  1. Randy, if you’re reading this – was that you that I waved to, who passed by me heading north (I was heading south) around 5:30 PM?

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