Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In search of a good time

Since early March I've been riding my heart out. Hundreds and hundreds of kilometers. Every spare moment. It has felt like a job. Not an easy job, and not one I really felt motivated to do.

Someone asked 'so why are you doing this'? Setting goals is the only way I can force myself to do the right thing: lots and lots of exercise.

People around me are riding a lot, too. Easy to get pulled in. It's a Paris-Brest-Paris year. Ride like mad or get left behind.

So, I've been riding without motivation, and without much joy. Grim, grim, grim. Longing to read and blog and vacation and... all the stuff that's not compatible right now.

Then, this happened:

Eric Norris and Jack Holmgren and Ryan Thompson are enjoying the top of a kinda short but significant climb on Middle Road. It is a luxury to stop for a moment, and no one suggests we keep moving.

At the very northern edge of Marin County, south of Valley Ford, this is our scenic alternate. We declined a section of Highway 1 full of RVs and trucks hauling boats, opting for Middle Road instead. It's rare to have a choice on a brevet, but today is different in all kinds of ways.

The guys are giggling and clowning, savoring our little slice of heaven. A narrow, beautiful, country road. A perfect Sunday afternoon. One car in 45 minutes. Lots of cows.

They're joking about the spoon I carry for eating yogurt, which has taken a header out of my seat bag onto the pavement. Not too many cyclists carry spoons, I guess. It's a quirk. But as you might guess, they all have quirks too.

Eric can grin like Wallace of Wallace and Gromit. Jack is Mr. Conspicuity, neon Lycra everywhere. It's painful to look at. Ryan's normal but he rides with the likes of us.

So here it is, my first good ride experience since March. Despite the joking and camaraderie we rode it fast: 200K, self-supported, 9.5 hours. In the morning, a group of ~8 stayed more or less together against the wind. In Bodega Bay I hauled out a GF bun from my seat bag and Diekmann's General Store proceeded to cook a hamburger to put in it. The simple burger: excellent fuel.

After lunch the sun came out. Fortified, I then found myself with 3 riders who knew the way. They turned on Middle Road, and I, you know, followed. If not for the hill, all this goodness for free.

It happens to be the Summer Solstice.

As I said to Jim on our trip to Mercey Hot Springs, you just really need one good ride to be a believer again.

1 comment :

  1. I hear you - sometimes, you just have to put your head down and keep pedaling. And pedaling. And pedaling. I'm glad you had a good ride to counterbalance all the grim!
    Man, Middle Road. That was bad for me last year at Marin. It's nice to see a sunshiny pic of it. (From that first pic, I bet I know which of your friends is Jack...)