I rolled out Sunday morning with my buddy, Mike at 8am sharp. A stark contrast to Saturday morning, it was 45° (7 C) with barely a breeze. We don’t have many days left suitable for the Venge so, after quite a bit of consternation, I readied it to go. I wanted to take the Trek but I
had wanted to see how my new saddle would do on day two in the midst of a raging saddle sore. I settled in as we slowly made our way up the road, just Mike and I. I can’t remember the last time we only had two of us for a weekend ride.
Mike and I needed some catch up time, anyway. It’s been months since we’ve ridden, just he and I.
Two miles in and I was settled right in, with the exception that my legs felt like I’d put them through a meat grinder. I was tired, and it doesn’t happen too often that I’m content at 16 or 17-mph. We chose a north/south route because an easterly breeze was due to kick up and heading east really isn’t an option – too much traffic. A couple of miles up and I saw another rider up ahead, the red Specialized was unmistakable. Phill was joining us.
The next 30 miles were complete, relaxed autumn cycling enjoyment. We each took our lumps up front and talked about anything but the ridiculousness of politics.
The sun was blazing, though it’s now low enough on the southern horizon it doesn’t help much to warm things up without some slipstream help. I’d dressed perfectly, though, so the cool temperature wasn’t a factor. We rolled on, alternating between conversation and quietly enjoying the fall morning and the lack of traffic.
Phill split off to head back to his daughter’s house while Mike and I had about eight miles left for home. We kept our pace up for the north/south roads but took it easy for the few miles we had left heading east. The wind had picked up and my legs were starting to feel heavy. You know that point where you can feel the pre-cramps in your quads? That’s where I was, like if I dared try something as simple as a sprint, I’d be done for. Mike was more than alright with taking it easy, though. He’d worked hard the day before as well.
We laughed and talked on the south roads, then knuckled down for the few miles east – we couldn’t have heard the other in the wind, anyway.
I pulled into the driveway with 46 miles and some change, while Mike headed for home a couple of miles up the road. I cleaned up, had some lunch and settled in for a needed nap. Waking up a half-hour later was slow and I seriously thought about going back to sleep… but duty, in the form of the lawn, called. Sadly, it won’t mow itself. Even if it barely needed it.
Out of the blue, whilst using the lawn sweeper to pick up a layer of pine needles on the front lawn under our massive pine trees, I had an epiphany. My wife and I sit on different sides of the aisle politically and it gets tense in our house every four years – especially ’16 and this year (as one would imagine). I expect my wife to withdraw considerably, as she always has, until well after the election (unless her side wins, then it’s miraculously all okay again). It’s been this way since we were married and I’ve learned to accept it for what it is. The sun rises and sets on her for me, so I’ll live with a little crazy every four years.
So there I am sweeping up the debris out of the lawn and it hits me; what if I change during an election cycle, too? I never thought I did, but it’s distinctly possible. Probable, even. This will take some thought and action on my part. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is “if you spot it, you got it”, but it’s close.
Point is, I always want to be a better me. Without that attitude and work, a drink and oblivion aren’t far behind. I’ve had a lifetime’s fill of that misery. I don’t need any more.