Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A New Ride

It’s like a scene from a movie. Exciting music is playing in the background as our hero is climbing into his special clothes. We see a series of quick cuts as an arm slides into sleeve, as a helmet is adjusted on the head, as hands slip into gloves. He steps through a door and presses a button and then, as the music builds to a crescendo, the camera cuts to outside. We see a large door sliding slowing up. The sunlight streams in as our hero is slowly revealed I all his glory. Perhaps he is an astronaut in some kind of hangar bay. Perhaps he is a race car driver in the garage. Perhaps he is a certified public accountant.
Perhaps he is a cyclist who has been off the bike for awhile and is ready for that first test ride to see how his body has recovered from surgery. Perhaps he is just a guy who wants to go for a ride.

It’s a stirring scene, I know. In reality, I was doing a public service. If this seems farfetched, allow me to explain.

I get upset and hard to live with when I can’t ride.

I know I’m not the only one.

I can remember Dave telling me that, when he hasn’t ridden in a while, he knows he gets hard to live with because his wife will eventually say in an exasperated tone of voice, “Will you please just go ride you bike?!” Of course, this could just be a ploy to get him out of the house for awhile, but Dave’s a nice guy, so I don’t believe it.

This question is on my mind because I find myself to be sleepy, grumpy and dopey, and I don’t know how many of the rest of the seven dwarves. Granted, it could just be that I’m in a bad mood, but I think it’s because I haven’t been able to ride for awhile.

And this is why, three weeks after the appendectomy, I found myself strapping on a helmet today. It was a good feeling. I was going to be on the hybrid, so I didn’t get kitted out, but the helmet, aside from being a truly snazzy fashion statement, is a necessity for me whenever I ride.

I passed two kids on bikes today, and I was the only one of us wearing a helmet. I was troubled by this. Having had my skullular integrity saved by a helmet once, I hate to see anyone on two wheel without one, but I suppose not everyone falls down as often as I do.

The goal of today’s ride, aside from saving the sanity of everyone around me by putting me into a better mood, was to test out the state of my internal equipment. Current condition: acceptable, but not perfect.

I only rode a little over two miles – not even a warm up, but my body told me to start slow. It also said that, at least as far as today was concerned, I should finish slow and, while I was at it, take it easy during the middle part, but at least it was a ride, however ephemeral.

(And the category today is: Unexpected words to find in a bike blog.)

I can’t tell you how good it felt to be back on the bike.

That’s a rather odd statement to put in a blog, isn’t it? If I can’t tell you how it felt, then why am I taking the time to write about it?

An excellent question, and one which I have no answer for.

It isn’t exactly effortless, but it definitely lets you know you’re alive. Your blood is pumping, your muscles are working, your lungs are going and your spirit is free.

Now I want to go ride again.

See you on the road.

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