Saturday, February 09, 2008
The warmth of the sun penetrates my clothing, warming me from the inside. While the air is still cool, there is an intangible taste in the air, spring time - yet it is only February.
My heart quickens as I roll my bike from the keller, around the corner and up the stairs into the light of day. A couple high-fives, and greetings, we are ready to go. A quick throw of the leg over the saddle, mounted on my steed, we roll out.
A few quick shifts later and the tempo quickens and there is a feedback from the tires humming on the pavement that is silenced once we hit the dirt. You could be blind folded and know that you are in woods here, a moist coolness gently engulfs you and the musty, earthy scents fill your senses.
A few minutes into our ride, we pick up the first single trail, I drop in first. Pumping the roots and rollers, my bike and I are one and glide along the damp forest floor. Excited to be outside, I yearn for more, pounding out harder and quicker on the pedals.
Within no time, we hit the next town and pick up our fourth riding partner. Lacing our way through the narrow street and house, we climb out over the sleepy, picturesque dorf, back into the shelter of the forest. The conversation and pace are lively, we laugh and zip back and fourth across the forest path dodging puddles and fallen branches.
We hit the second section of single track, once again I take the reins, letting my bike go, blurring my peripheral vision filled with emerald greens and dark browns. Intuitively my bike follows the ribbon of earth that snaps back and forth under speed. Contact between rubber and terrafirma is intermittent as rocks, roots and variations in the trail make for occasional weightless moments.
Through the power of hydraulics, my brakes bring me back down from orbit as we are spit out at the bottom of the trail. Another forest road opens up the conversation again as we are once again able to ride along side one another. We are all feeling the positive energy from the bright sun light, and being in the moment.
A few lefts and rights later, up over a small climb, we descend back down into the next valley, and scurry along its floor. I shoot rocks with my front wheel at the others as they talk about past loves, new homes and other things that consume our ordinary lives.
An inevitable right turn, and we face a nice long climb that is gradual at first, but packs a punch near the top. As the grade steepens, the conversation subsides, and heartrates go up with the trail. Out of the saddle I pound out a cadence in solitude, feeling the climb going into my legs. Gravity is fighting, but my will is stronger as I sit down and roll over the top, dropping gears and riding away from the hill.
The group regathers, and as the oxygen is replenished and we begin to have more reserves, the conversation fires back up. We roll through another village in tight pack formation, and out across some fields back towards home.
With our souls & physical beings having been replenished, we say our farewells until the next time we go for a ride. I stop before the door, and look my bike over, a smile of appreciation comes across my face, and I roll her inside - until next time.