Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the christening

with great gratitude and excitement
I invite you all to join in my celebration
of the
of my new bike.

february 24, 2009, at approximately 12:45 pm,
my new bike set out on its first grand adventure with yours truly in the navigator's seat.
as you know, it had been resting in my family room for the past 10 days, as I acclimated myself to its existence in my life. sunday evening it finally lost its protective tape, reclaimed its front wheel, received a set of pedals, and gained a few little gadgets that when added together and coerced into functioning properly, form a cyclometer.
yesterday it was 50+ degrees, mostly sunny, a perfect day to ride, and I had neither the energy, desire, nor time to take it out.
today, however, looked to be the best day of the week to ride: a predicted high of 53 degrees, partly cloudy, and only a 10 percent chance of precipitation.

during yoga this morning I had an attack of the "I can't"s, which was thoroughly depressing and debilitating. I think it began with my weak and wavering right leg, which did not want to support my body in a half-moon pose. somehow that transformed into "I can't ride a bike anymore: I'm incapable of even climbing up a canyon anymore and probably won't ever be able to complete a century again."
where does this come from??
I'm hoping it comes from a weakened emotional state, caused by a weakened physical state. you know, that under the weather thing. I'm still crawling out from under that, and I will thus attribute the attack of I cant's to my lack of perfect physical health.
because I know darn well I can climb a hill.
and complete a century.
and ride 200 miles in one day.
I can do anything.

especially with my new bike.
these are my "first ride" observations:

this bike comes with a built-in tailwind. woo hoo!
the top tube is lower, thus I have to stretch further down to reach my water bottles.
the drop bars are much closer to the handlebars, making it easier to use them, and much easier to brake while doing so.
the brakes are responsive! if I hadn't accidentally tested them and discovered that, I might have done an over-the-handlebars flip while using them coming downhill. thank you, universe.

it is a beautiful bike.

and when I say it was christened today, I mean it was christened. it received a beautiful cleansing from the rain that started two-thirds of the way into my ride.
the first drop hit me right in the mouth ( need I say more about the headwinds?) and I spat it right out, thinking, it's not bug season, what was that? the second one hit my glasses, and then I quickly lost track of which raindrop was hitting where as they pinged on my helmet and slapped my windjacket.
on the way up the canyon I had oh-so-carefully avoided every bit of wet pavement I could, trying to minimize the dirt, mud, and wet that might jump up and attack my bike.
on the way down, in the rainstorm, I laughed and pedaled as hard as I could through everything on the ground, knowing the only way I could avoid a mess was to call a friend to come get me. by the bottom of the canyon I was looking at the world through a hundred droplets on my glasses, and speckles of dirty water decorated every bit of my clothing.

and that bike flew.

it's a beautiful bike.

so I close with great gratitude and excitement, welcoming a new friend into my life. I promise to care for it with love and attention, to always treat it carefully and with respect, and to never forget the depth of my gratitude for its participation in my life.

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