Sometimes you carry the weight of the day onto the bike. Yesterday was like that. I hit those first two hills and just had to grind up them slowly and ever more slowly, gasping for breath. Then I left the neighborhood and hit the main road, where the wind sucked the like out of me, and I just put my head down and pushed the pedals around. (I should say that I didn’t put my head too far down, since I do like seeing the road ahead of me.) It looked like I was just going to have to grind this one out, so I just tried to find a rhythm and settle into it.
Of course, what happened is what usually happens – my body woke up and the ride got easier.
It was hot and windy just like it’s been all week, but at least this time the flies weren’t lying to me about it being windy. Every single one that I passed was cracking and snapping, streaming out from the flag pole in a way that left no doubt at all about the breeze that was blowing. There is some comfort in that. At least I knew I wasn't imagining the wind.
The route I had originally picked out was just too short to help me unwind, so I lengthened it on the fly. I decided that I would ride down roads that were new to me and get some exploring done. I turned down an unfamiliar road to find that it was bumpy and rough. I could hear my water bottle rattling in the cage (and could almost hear my teeth rattling in my head). Then, after a mile or two, the road dumped me out someplace familiar. My journey of exploration just become a journey to places I go all the time.
I suppose at some future date I might glad to know that, from that point I can go that was instead of this way, but at the moment it was just kind of annoying. I turned around and headed down a new road. The wind was in my face, and the road was still rough. It was hard going, but sometimes you need hard going.
My favorite street name was “Winding Lane”, largely because it was about as straight a road as I’ve ever seen in my life. I also passed a housing development that I thought was called Stonehenge. This struck me as an odd choice of name, and then I realized that it was called Stonehedge. This struck me as an even odder choice of name. Stone…hedge? Does this make sense?
I can remember the most pleasant moment of the entire ride. I had riding into a head wind down a rough road and made a ninety degree turn. The wind became a cross wind and the road surface was as smooth as could be. Everything suddenly got easier. It was great.
I ended up with my longest ride of the week and one of the best. By the time I got back home, my bruised spirit was doing much better, and now the weekend is here.
I’m liking this.
See you on the road.