Friday, April 29, 2011

like-minded souls

it's possible we say this every april, but here goes anyway:
gosh, it's been a lousy spring.
for bike riding, that is.
apparently it's been great for skiing, and for snowfall, and for drought-resilience.
but pretty lousy for cycling.

what I notice, therefore, is that every time the clouds crack open, the sun shines down, the pavement dries, the snow pulls back away from the bike lanes, the cyclists whip out and head up the hill.
on the crummy days, the 40-degrees-but-I'm-going-to-ride-anyway days, you see cyclists out and about, but you can often count them with just two hands, and they all have the look of someone who is doing what simply must be done.
when small white clouds dance around the sun and the temperature climbs above 50, it takes both hands, both feet, and some remembering to count all the cyclists spinning past.

I am not alone.

how many of us watch the weather, waiting for breaks in the clouds, waiting for temperatures to climb to our minimum-comfort zone, pushing our work and chores around until they fit into our non-riding hours?
this morning dawned wet and gray, but before long the roads began to dry and within hours the sun was beginning to peek through the billowing clouds. it wasn't more than 40 degrees, but I was tempted. an hour, maybe, an hour just here in the neighborhood, no climbing up to the snowline, just a street cruise. however, work kept me pinned, and I let go my fantasy.
had I gone, I would have seen other cyclists.
had the weather been even twenty percent nicer, I would have seen more.
and had it been a gorgeous day, I would have been weaving through them in the bike lanes.

I am not alone.
a little sunshine, a little warmth, and we come crawling out and pedaling up the road, and this very simple thing is why I smile and wave, and feel a sense of camaraderie with every other cyclist out there.
none of us are truly alone, because we all share that little something that calls to us, that pushes us out the door, that fuels us and rewards us and tells us that we are bound to feel better if we just get out on the road and start pedaling.

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