THIS is why we ride (part III)

September 2, 2014

Wake up after heavy, deep sleep. Good rest. Don’t feel much like riding. Know I should. No two days off in a row.

Check weather. BIG rain last night. More today? No, first few hours look clear.

Quick shower, dress before I change my mind. Out on bike.

Roads damp but not wet. A little headwind.

Ride to “McDeath” for breakfast biscuit & coffee. Older townsfolk sitting around catching up. Small town, slow pace. As I eat, I think. The 1000. Can I do it? Will I be old? Will anyone know? Will they care? *I* will know. But will even *I* care?

As I eat I look around. Do they see my heart? Doesn’t matter if they don’t. I think one guy might, through eye contact.

Time to go. 16 miles today? 30? 56? 26 was the original plan, but I change the planned route to ride into 15 miles of headwind. 30-miler will do.

A few miles in I am free. This is what I love. Bike, lungs opening up, music in headphones. Moving forward in multiple dimensions.

Riding easy. Pushing lower gear. Make today fun. Leave a little on the table.

Katy Perry on Pandora. Others can laugh if they want – “Roar” is a great song. My spirit soars with the melody. I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar.

Into one of my favorite climbs now. Take a drink of water? No, don’t disturb the flow. I descend into a DEEP, deep synth wash coming into the headphones. Now I merge into everything. Now I know why Vinny writes. Now I know why I ride. A 2-3 hour outing, to capture just a few short, yet timeless jewels like this = very well worth it.

Rise out of the saddle to lead an imaginary group of imaginary fading fellow riders, late in a hard day, up another climb. The future. This really can be me.

The emotions. I understand why others burst into tears after a major athletic accomplishment. I burst into tears sometimes just watching it.

Stop at next town. Rest legs. Drink some water. Now a mild tailwind for the return, although the headwind has been pleasant enough.

The return. The debate about extending the distance. Choices. Decide to stop at the planned 30.

Decide to stop & pick up notebook to capture slices of the ride in words. Carry notebook in future!!

Arrive at Subway for lunch. Lot left in the tank. Future days, future days. For now I got out of this outing what I wanted, and I got what I needed. THIS is why we ride.

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