I smelled wet leaves and wood fires burning in fireplaces, winter's ponderous atmosphere and quick breaths of spring's potential.
I felt cold drops of water sneak through the ventilation holes in my helmet and make their way through my hair to my scalp, I felt the wet kick-back from my tires that penetrated my bike shorts and chilled my rear, I felt cold air dance on my cheeks.
I saw low dripping clouds hover above the foothills, leaving a dusting of snow in their wake, I saw running rivers and standing puddles and drops of rain, thick and fat, giggling on their way down from high above.
I heard cacophonies of birds in community trees, the splash as I crossed gutters heavy with water, the thick sound of my tires revolving again and again upon the dark and wet asphalt.
I tasted water fresh from the sky and water kicked up by my front wheel, the latter flavored with specks of dirt and as unwelcome in my mouth as the former was welcome.
I knew peace, I knew calm, I knew certitude. I knew myself centered and full of peace, one with my bike, one with the world and everyone within.
I knew I would return, in my mind, to this ride, in moments of need, to smell the wet, feel the cold, hear the birds, taste pure water and taste the grit, and see my way to a place where I am fully, thoroughly, contentedly me.