My bike called for me at 2:30 p.m. I pictured it leaning against the cold cement wall of the garage. Standing there, in the dark, waiting – the black paint gathering just a little dust that would easily blow off when I cranked the handlebars and stood down hard on the pedals. The bike called for me because at mid-afternoon the sky was completely blue and there was no wind touching the leaves or swaying a branch. It was an afternoon built for a ride.
By 4:15 I was totally distracted. My mind was on riding, not working. I imagined how quickly I could drive home, change into my kit toss on shoes and start rolling over hot asphalt. I could feel the trickle of sweat that would be falling down my temple in less than 10 minutes. I could see my bike computer screaming back at me as I pulled a 24 mph average through the rolling hills of toney Maple Grove and its Elm Creek Park Reserve complete with 20 miles of paved trail.
5:30 rolled around and I put the hammer down on my familiar route. Freshly inflated tires buzzed and the click of the gears as I downshifted brought a slight smile to my face. I’m so easily pleased on perfect June days. I found myself out of the saddle on the flats maximizing speed, and I never used the small front ring, not even on the hills. The pull through my calves and thighs was my release.
It was, perhaps, the best hour I’ve spent in weeks.