today I rode because it was too beautiful to not ride.
I didn't ride because I wanted to, or because I ate too many cookies yesterday, or because my training schedule demanded it.
it was purely because a sixty-degree, sunny, november day with nothing but painfully blue skies up above is too good to pass up.
big mountain called me, as it is close and demanding and when I finish that ride I feel like I've accomplished something significant. even on a too-beautiful-to-not-ride day I like to accomplish something significant.
and I had a new experience on this ride.
a few miles up emigration I was passed by two chatting women who breezed past me as though they were riding on a flat road. I was breathing heavily and my leg muscles burned, while their slender, sleek bodies floated by and their conversation filled the air.
a minute later I heard another bike approaching me from behind, and I steeled myself against that inner shame for being passed again, and turned my head to see another woman pulling alongside me. we exchanged hellos and I realized I knew her, saying "wendy? it's susan!"
she slowed a tad, I sped up a tad, and we rode hard and chatted for the next mile or two.
she was trailing the fast duo ahead, and I didn't help her gain any ground, but we got to catch up on each other's lives, as we hadn't seen each other in a good year or so.
wendy is one of those salt of the earth people. grounded, reasonable, focused on what matters, kind, humorous, loving. one of those people you know you can count on, someone who keeps her word, someone I keep in that little mental pocket of people who would help me if I ever really needed help.
she eventually pulled ahead of me, but the four of us leapfrogged a bit all of the way to the top of big mountain. there we all paused, downed a quick snack and some liquid, layered up for the cold downhill rush, then took off together.
and this is where I had my realization: I've never ridden with 3 other women before.
I watched them from my position in the rear, and felt this powerful, slightly odd, kinship with these women. they swooped down the winding road gracefully and a bit more cautiously than I'm used to, and I felt surrounded by this beautiful, feminine energy. from a woman I'd just met, another I've only been introduced to once or twice, and a woman I've known for years but never spent much time with.
okay, weird, I know.
but it felt really good.
and when the swooping ended and the road rose again, my leg muscles complained, just like they always do, and I was once again on a normal ride under an endless blue sky on a perfect fall day.
best of all, I felt a desire to write about it.
so here I am, back, and with a new plan:
since I have my own quirky view of the world which I and some others consider to be, at times, a little odd, I have decided that for the next bit of time I will post on odd days. odd-numbered days of the month, as well as any additional days I consider to be odd enough to warrant a posting.
and there you have it.
the way of cycling is not always simple or predictable. or fun. however, I believe guidance is always given to those who seek it, and yesterday I was given some from a sign I saw while riding on the narrow track that leads up and over our freeways, connecting our north-eastern foothills with those more central and southern:
stay on path.