I love 5pm on a weekday. My day starts between 3:30 and 4:30am, so by Five in the evening, I’m about done. In the industry I’ve chosen as a career, it’s quite normal for people to ignore their cellphone, especially when they’re “in trouble”. I decided, when cellphones first came out, that I wouldn’t be one of those people. For that reason alone, I hate ignoring my phone to ride. I won’t do it, even though I could get away with it. That is, right up until 5:00pm on the nose. At 5:01, my butt is dressed, helmet on, shoes on, tires pumped, and on my way out the door – then my time starts.
Last evening fit into that mold exactly. It was 61° and sunny with a decent breeze out of the west… Technically, too cool to skip the knee warmers (the cutoff is 65°), but after our extended winter, I didn’t care. I left the knee warmers in the dresser drawer.
I started out a little slow because it felt like there was a little north to that west wind, but quickly found my rhythm and the speed ratcheted up. By the time I’d turned west, into the wind, I was cruising easy between 20 & 21 mph, down in the drops to avoid the worst of the headwind. I chuckled thinking about our local shop owner’s description of the local wind; “The wind is Michigan’s mountains”. We don’t have many big climbs around here but we get plenty of wind.
Cruising in bibs and a short-sleeve jersey for just the second time this year, I was struck with a happy, content feeling. That feeling is why I ride. My brain shut off, with the exception of normal cycling related duties, and I rolled.
I pulled into my driveway, 17.6 miles in 56 minutes and some change, having ridden the Trek and that 18.5 mph pace was easy… This is definitely going to be a good year. I am a little heavy, but I’m also in fantastic shape.
I enjoy that hour ride after work. I appreciate the shortness of it, the simplicity, the low impact to my busy schedule… It’s so easy to fit into my life and does so much to keep me sane. Life is always better after that hour. Oh, and a shower. Woof.