The poet Robert Frost penned, "Some say the world will end in fire, Some say ice." The ice remains, often as slush, and the fiery days of summer are yet unimaginable, so so we, yes we the daring cyclists that we are, say: "Neither ice nor fire!" We say: "Nothing but dang good riding in the shoulder season!"
True enough, our fingers were crooked from non-stop knitting through the winter storms and so we didn't know what to do with handlebars or brakes; our eyes were glazed from unending screen time and so we hardly remembered how to look ten or twenty feet ahead; and our legs had not yet felt the sap of Spring run within them and so we had to keep reminding each other with "Up, down, up, down." But onward we struggled, fueled by passion, bananas, and water from grit covered bottle spouts.
It was, to characterize, much like riding in a mini Belgian spring classic. People along the route cheered and clapped (particular thanks to the group enjoying a wine party on a driveway as we climbed the hill past them, we'll take anything we can get in the way of upslope encouragement. We debated holding against them the fact they didn't offer us a nip but, alas, we would have had to decline; we had promises to keep and miles to go before we'd sleep (and no I'm not apologizing for tossing in another Frost quip).
The roads were better than expected, not much gravel on the shoulders. Puddles were generally located to the pathway. Drivers of cars were more aware of us, and more generous than I would have expected. We screamed, as in speed, through Bowness and we shook our fists at Bow Cycle, and yelled"Eat our dust." They didn't hear us, they were all inside selling bikes, if any are left. At any rate, the joke was on us, the few patches of wet road were enough to splatter our own lips with muddy water. So much for the Delphic Castalian Spring. C'est la vie dans la rue de la boue.
But that first ride. You start and you're that movie rebel again with the world whipping past and the wind tossing your hair and for a moment there's nothing but the bike and speed and distance. Einstein wouldhave marveled at your your unique manner of confronting space-time. And then you hit that first incline you said "Oh. My. Gawd. I. Suck. I don't remember having my lungs removed over the winter. I don't remember granting my legs a vacation at Cozumel."
Now to shift tone and wax bathetic for a moment:
A sorrowful tear trickled down many a rosy cheek as fate forced the truncation of our near mythic journey. That cold orb some call the sun was beelining toward its hiding place. We turned on our headlights, boogied down that long descent from 12 Mile to Tuscany Hill and propelled our two-wheeled merriment machines back to our starting point as the temperature tumbled. Even now as I write I shudder thinking of that one person dressed in only a jersey, light windbreaker, and tights but I won't mention any names.
Once more at the muddy parking area, we rued the fact that we cannot yet en masse head for coffee or a beer, ah-- friendship is but a fleeting facet (that's not Frost by the way) but nevertheless we remain hopeful people.
This little thing works great for bike washing when your hose isn't yet hooked up. You'll see which photo and it's not me.
Great trip report, Chris, laughed and laughed!
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