I spun out the bay door through our small parking lot and out into the street. My morning ride in was marred by tired legs and a groggy head. Surprisingly, after a day of work my head is clear and my legs are starting to feel fresh again. Its truly warm for the first time in a long. Neither arms or legs are covered, my jersey is totally unzipped. The sun is warming my skin… this is what I’ve been missing.
My legs are unshaven, a sign that that I had stopped caring and that it was time for a break. The bag on my back is stuffed with my clothes from week now passed. Tucked into the folds of the clothes are the tools I need to rebuild my bike, tools I barely know how to use. Most are self evident, and I can figure them out. Like the bottom bracket tool, and the cable cutters, easy. The make shift headset press? Need a little more time with that one. Concerns about my ineptitude are put aside for now. Now I’m just happy to ride and enjoy it.
For the last few days I’ve left the computer at home. I have no idea how fast I’m going, how far I’ve traveled, or what my average or current heart rate is. I’m soul riding as one of my co-workers calls it. Whether its because I’m without that computer, or because my mind is free of actual training I don’t know, but today the world of my commute feels more alive to me. At NE 53rd and NE Glisan a young woman with an orange top is stopped in the turn lane waiting for the light to turn green. She hold a cigarette in her left and while her right hand bangs out the beat to the song on the radio. Her windows are up, so I can’t hear the tune, but she’s signing along with her whole being. Her enjoyment brings a smile to her face as I recall all the times I’ve sung along with radio. All the times I’ve felt something that strongly. She doesn’t notice me looking at her, but I start to feel bad about my voyeurism. The light turns green and I pedal myself out her life.
Further down NE 53rd two kids are playing in their yard, which is elevated above the side walk. They charge toward the hedges at that mark the drop off and one tackles the other just before edge. The mother, of one or both the boys jumps up from her gardening yelling “NO! You can not …”. Then her reprimand of boys being boys is lost to my ears.
This is the first truly warm day in a long time. The temps hoover near ninety and it shows as I ride through the Clinton St neighborhood. Guys stand at the picnic tables outside bars, beers in hand, t shirts, shorts and flip flops. Two women walk by in sundress, sandals on their feet and purses slung over their shoulders. The notice that summer is slowly coming lifts my spirits a bit more. Warmer weather and fresher legs are in my future.