After spending 5 days sick recovering off a wardrobe malfunction involving a nylon jersey, a Gore-Tex windproof shell, and non-wicking nipple pasties, I rode into work.
Last night I was actually a little giddy about riding again for the first time. The rain was coming down pretty steadily, but I really didn’t mind. If it rained in the morning I would get wet and if it didn’t I would stay dry. I stopped praying to a multitude of deities for better weather long ago. Now I just get my forecasts from several different sources and then go with the worst. This technique actually works pretty well, though I still tend to count on looking out the window and sniffing the air as well. Intuition beats Doppler any day.
I grab my tights out of the dryer. Nice and clean with a hint of mountain freshness from the dryer sheets. That scent wouldn’t last long, but it was still a nice way to start out. I decided to go with the long shot bike for crappy weather; my trusty old Cannondale road. I’m no fan of riding 23mm tires on slick roads with all sorts of debris littering them, but I figured that it’s always good to stay in practice in all conditions on all sorts of tires.
I pull out of my driveway and round the corner. A cardinal crosses my path. Don’t know what that signifies other than two objects both on their way to handle their business. I try to get up to a decent cruising speed. My legs weren’t quite feeling it, so I settled in to a steady spin. My new ace which used to be my albatross are my lungs. Sprinting from light to light used to be my life and then I discovered the roads outside of the cities. With that finding came the truth that I was as strong as the street was short. After a few seasons of riding casually as a cyclist and not for cash as a messenger, I added stamina to power; though could no longer drink as much or as often.
The road is wet. My gaze dips onto my front tire where I see my Armadillo earning it’s keep by channeling away water. Not as cool as seeing the water show at The Bellagio, but on a Tuesday morning in Jersey, it’ll do. I pass by several elementary schools. I see a mom getting buzzed in the door with her child. I think about sentries that now stand guard at places of learning. I think about my own childhood and how my kids won’t have the same luxuries as I did. They won’t know what they’re missing, but I do. I stop pedaling for about 40 yards where there is no traffic and just listen to my tires slice through the water. Life is pretty fleeting. I could’ve picked up speed on this stretch, but chose to simply cruise.