All year long, from riding on the trainer starting New Year’s Day to get into spring fit and strong, to the first thaw in early spring and all through summer and into fall, we grind and hammer to be tip of the sword fast.
There are recovery rides, of course, but at least four days a week it’s hammer down.
Then comes autumn proper. Cold morning temps near freezing, cloudy skies, and nature’s fireworks display. 23-mph on a road bike is double-cold, so we’ve taken to gravel bikes and easy rides on dirt roads.
We talk about the year gone by and crack good-natured jokes about the year’s miscues and bonks, and we spin the cranks. The pace is relaxed and fun – a bunch of old kids out on their toys. Fall is our time to stop and smell the dirt. To enjoy the gains we worked for all year long, to laugh and to ride with friends.
We’ve all heard or read “in these trying times” or “to save lives” so many times, they’re likely a trigger for most (I’m real close with “to save lives” myself), riding the back roads with friends “in these trying times” is the safest way I know to enjoy time together with others. While some of us like to act like hermit crabs, we all need friend time.
And so it was, Saturday and Sunday. We rode slow and had a lot of laughs. We watched the colors change right in front of us. And, just for a few hours each day, things were normal again. And it was good.