Last week I posted about wanting sense of camaraderie that was so obvious in those TOC Rapha videos. That’s a good feeling, whether its exploring new roads, a plush stretch of single track, or practicing wall rides on a dam that just happens to be in a cemetery. All good things. Yesterday I reacquainted myself with another kind of great feeling. Yesterday I rode with, no, then minimal knee pain, for the first time in weeks.
I know that I should still be taking time off, and I will today, yesterday’s ride was purely for transportation purposes. I could have taken the bus, but that would have cost me some very precious dollars and would have taken me almost double the time to get there (if I include wait time between buses, which you should!). So the bike it was.
When I have a ride like yesterday’s a giddiness comes over me. Despite my best efforts a smile comes across my face and I feel the need to go fast. Not to demonstrate how strong I am, but to feel the wind pushing my t-shirt against my body,the force of it against my face. This feeling only comes after I’ve had to take a few days off. Four days is just enough time to remind myself how much I need that time in my hard ass saddle, how much I love that time. With friends or alone.
I’ve been writing about my time in New Mexico lately. For the most part this has been painful, but I carry one (of a few) wonderful memory from that time.
One of the people we were working with lent me his mountain bike. I’ve never been a good rider on dirt. For some reason I felt more comfortable shooting the gap between two buses, or running a red light than I have ever felt bombing down a dirt trail with no traffic.
I hadn’t ridden in over a week, when one evening I got on this bike and headed up a rock strewn path to the top of the mesa that was behind our Bureau of Indian Affairs house. I had sold my mountain bike to pay tuition, so I was a tad rusty. I worked my way over large rocks, sometimes walking, but always looking over my shoulder for mountain lions.
When the gloaming started to engulf me I turned around, far from the top. Gravity took over immediately. I gained speed, did my best to keep a loose grip, relax my arms and look forward, keep focus on my line. I bounced over small rocks and launched off boulders repeatedly bottoming out the cheap stock fork.
Where the dirt meet the pavement I let out a loud “WHEEEEEE!!!”. So lost in the moment that I screamed past the house, all of my class mates watching me fly bye. It was magical. That’s how I felt yesterday. It was beautiful. For a moment I forgot about all the silly first world problems I often complain about. I was just lost in the moment. Weaving in and out of the other cyclist on the Springwater Corridor, not to show them how fast I am, but because I was lost in the moment. Just me, the bike and Ole’ Dirty in my headphones.