I went for a bike ride yesterday, my first time outdoors since the JDRF Ride to Cure in Nashville. (Well, that’s not exactly true, but the less than two miles I rode with a bent derailleur hanger don’t really count.) A number of factors conspired to keep me off the bike—travel, marathon training, daylight savings time—but most of my reasons are self-imposed. I was recovering, cleaning house, taking it easy . . . slowly forgetting how much joy cycling brings me. But every time I get back on the bike after a break I feel an instant rush of joy. I remember how much I love doing this and why.
And so it was Sunday when I went out for a relatively short 27-mile ride. The air was fairly cool, and I was bundled up in my new jacket and inherited Bike Switzerland jersey. I decided to go up to Grafton and then loop back around toward home. I had missed the hills, and most of the roads where I live go uphill at some point, so we got reacquainted. After some rollers, I started the 4-mile climb up to Grafton. I could tell that I had lost a bit of my late season bike fitness, but without anything to prove I didn’t really care.
The weather was great, cool enough that I had to zip up my jacket on the downhills or when the sun went behind a cloud, and I had it zipped way down when going up the big climb that brought me back to the center of Upton. I could go straight and be home in six, mostly downhill miles. Or . . . I could turn right and add a few miles. “It’s all uphill, you know?” That little voice inside me said. “Yeah, but we’ve got nowhere to go, so why not?” I replied. “Damn straight!”
Here’s hoping that the nice weather holds up for a while longer.