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When the Cottonwood Blows Your Way…

June 2014
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Every pure cyclist needs one of those days…

You’re stressed out, being pulled in six different directions. You’re busy. There are worse problems to have and you’re keeping it positive, but still…

You pull into the driveway and you realize you’re dog tired. Your legs are still smoked from one of your best efforts since you started buckling your cycling shoes (or twisting the bolo) but today is supposed to be a hard effort.

You slowly suit up, considering a nap instead. Shoes ratcheted snug. Tires pumped, water bottle filled and caged. Helmet, glasses, gloves. You’re out the door before the committee in your mind can convince you to sit down on the couch. Maybe just ride easy today.

Odd… You realize the temperature is absolutely perfect.

You clip into your pedals. They seem hard to turn over. You take a quick glance and realize you’re in your 22 mph gear so maybe you were meant to push it today…

Before you know it you’re shooting down the road and you realize you can’t tell where the wind is coming from. Strange, that.

You can feel you’re body push against the air, sure enough, but you can’t get a direction on the wind – it’s definitely not in your face. Then you see some cottonwood fluff and it’s blowing your way. Fair enough.

Your legs are making perfect revolutions, knees up and down making your legs the pistons. You realize that maybe bicycles were the inspiration for the combustion engine. You see the same American Flag that always tells you which way the wind is blowing hanging limp on the flag pole. A light puff barely moves it…

You’re cruising down the road, down in the drops and it hits you that the motorists are being really awesome today. Plenty of room, man, it’s nice.

You can’t figure out where the energy came from but you’re just hammering…and the cottonwood is still blowing your way.

Down around your favorite corner, you hit it faster than ever, pushing on that outside pedal as hard as you can, leaning into the corner low and fast…and the bike complies as if you were in a roller coaster car. You head through town and the cottonwood, defying weather and physics, is still blowing your way.

You hum down the road, smiling because out of nowhere, you’re on and you know it…

Only five miles to go, you’re on the home stretch and you feel that gentle push of the breeze at your back – there it is, you say to no one…

No need to change gears now, you can’t believe how fast you’re going and how easy it feels… “My God, I love riding a bike”, you think…

A mile from the house and you’re done. You’re out of gas and you smile knowing you left everything, all of that crap, on the road…heck, what was it you were fretting before you got on the bike anyway? You look down at your cassette and see your chain…

You weren’t in the 22 mph gear. You’re in the 23-1/2 mile an hour gear.

You just rode that whole circuit one gear harder than you normally do for a hard workout. And then it hits you: the cottonwood was always blowing your way because you were pushing it. You were the wind.

Every cyclist needs a day when the cottonwood always blows your way.

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10 Comments

  1. Sue Slaght says:

    A very eloquent post. Really liked this one.

  2. Daniel Weise says:

    Very well written. I Loved it! I’m jealous of your ride! May you have many more like it.

  3. tischcaylor says:

    Nice. Good ride, good read.

  4. Nice. I always enjoyed the feeling of speed when I rode. It’s not quite the same in a car.

  5. Deana says:

    I really liked this one. Poetry in motion. Nice job. On the ride and the story –

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