Morning is not my best time. Often I wonder the kitchen, bouncing between the cabinets which contain my morning sustenance. My head doesn’t start to clear until around 7:00 am, which is when my commute starts. Sometimes its earlier, and if I decided to enjoy the warmth of my bed for just a bit longer, it might be a bit later. Since I prefer to train in the morning its often earlier. No matter the time I often spend this part of my day alone, its the moment my brain turns on.
The ride home is often a different affair. Most of my co-workers live in South-East Portland, and therefore ride in groups of varying size. Some times as many big as six and sometimes just me plus one.
If the morning trip prepares me for the day, the ride home is the place where we decompress – each pedal stroke taking us further from the place we spend most of our time.
The ride home is taken at a slow clip where conversation is valued over time hammering on the pedals. Though all of us are itching to get home, none of us are in such a hurry that we rip the legs off our companions. Most of the time.
At certain points, on certain days attacks fly off the front of our small group, each one pulling me out of our small pack. We rush up NE 77th, Theo or Hammerfest trying to out spin me to the light. That, or I try to set a pace high enough to discourage attacks, seeing who will crack first. Practice for the real thing, all in good fun and always done with a look and a smile at the moment of attack.
I ride with these people more than I ride with anyone else, but never for longer than thirty minutes. After that I’m alone again left to work through the events of the day on my own. Each turn of the crank taking further and further from the place I spend most of my time.