The best bike ride in the world is the one I’m walking out the door to start.
I got home from the office a little early. Early enough I could chill out for a bit on the couch. Chuck called and said he had to put some bigger, beefier tires on his new off-road pickup. Normally, I’d be a little bummed because I’d always prefer company over a solo ride, but the weather was perfect and the sun shining, so I prepped the Trek and got ready to roll. The Trek is utterly perfect lately, I literally can’t make the 22-year-old steed creak (more on that another time), and as perfect as the Venge is, it’s become too easy to pick the Trek.
Out the door at 4:30 and I eased into it. Within a half-mile I hit my happy place on my bike. I was going to keep the pace down because we’ve got a monster weekend culminating in what will likely be our fastest 100-miler of the year, Sunday. As I rolled on into what little breeze there was, I couldn’t help myself and ramped up the pace. All of the noise of the week faded into a blur, a lot like the gravel on the side of the road when you’re not looking directly at it as it goes by. All that mattered was the quiet whirring of the drivetrain and tires on the road and working on my suntan.
The kids were out, one in driver’s training, the elder out and about, and my wife was tending to club ride business. My God, where did time go? Anyway, this meant I had nowhere to be and nobody to answer to (or for). I had nothing better to do than ride my bike. I didn’t even hesitate when the thought of a third bonus lap popped into my melon. I turned back into the subdivision and lumbered up a tiny molehill and around the two-mile-long sub again.
Riding through the sub, there’s a lot of uphill to the first half. There isn’t much to it, it just grates on you a little bit with a north or west wind – it seems like a lot more work than it should be. Add to that, stress cracks in the asphalt, that first mile is a little annoying. There’s a payoff, though; the next half is all downhill and I had a tailwind for the last half-mile. It was a pain in the butt for the first half, but that second was a stretch where, for no better reason than to go fast, you get down in the drops and start pedaling harder… you just can’t help yourself!
I whipped out of the sub and headed north for the home stretch. It was tailwind and sunshine all the way home. And it was glorious.
On pulling in the driveway, I was literally smiling as I climbed off the bike. I went in the house and showered, then headed over to the bike shop to help my wife with preparations and to take her out to dinner.
Good times and noodle salad, my friends. It’s as good as it gets.