Tuesday, May 20, 2014

can't we all just get along?

I did not see my coyote friend this morning.
but over the hill and down the other side

I saw two little deer.

I hope my coyote friend doesn't see the two little deer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

common sense, gut, instinct, desire

the forecast was rain.
it rained, then it slowed, then it stopped.  the roads began drying.
the hourly forecast said that at 11am there was a 0 % chance of precipitation, and at noon there was a 30% chance of precipitation.
I hopped on my bike.

I rode up the canyon, mostly under blue skies with sun on my head and a tailwind at my back.
at the top, I turned to look behind me and saw, mmm, clouds.
common sense:  says turn around and go home now.
gut: pulls me back home
instinct: gonna disregard it
desire:  tells me keep going, go to the gate, what's another 15 or 20 minutes?

I rode to the gate.
turning around, the wind slapped me and the clouds had piled heavily and darkly above the summit, the place I was headed.
at the summit, I pulled on my rain jacket, watching the rolling, misty clouds hang over the road I was about to descend. then thunder clapped its gleeful hands, and I wondered just what a cyclist is supposed to do during thunderstorms.  lightening, rubber tires, hmmm.
ten yards down, the rain drops started splatting on my helmet, my shoulders, my hands and knees.
I started singing My Girl, the part that goes, I've got sunshi-ine, on a cloudy day....
I kept singing and smiling and laughing as rain drops kept falling.
the first two miles were fine.
and then all hell broke loose.

wind screamed and whipped, sleet-y hail-y rain came down in a torrent, the road quickly began flooding in spots and edges. I slowed, gripped the handlebars tightly with one hand so I could hold the other hand above my eyes, trying to protect my face from the onslaught.
I stopped singing.
gusts caught me, and I slowed further. I thought about finding cover, but more than anything just wanted to be home . . . so I kept going.  hail pinged my helmet and dashed my face.
six miles to go, then five.
my feet squished with each pedal crank, and I was so thoroughly soaked I could feel the weight of water in all my clothing, pulling me down, maybe stabilizing me as cross winds shoved.
four miles, three, out of the canyon, two.
I took a shortcut, one.

I unpeeled in the laundry room, wrapping myself in a spare towel, wet footprints following me directly into the hot shower.

sometimes I need to honor common sense, and tell my desire to keep quiet.  feel my gut, listen to instinct. if only I could teach myself to do that while I'm on a mountaintop, in fresh air, surrounded by nature, flushed with joy and accomplishment . . .
perhaps next time.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

death of a banana

before my ride, before it sat in my little bento box for hours, this banana was bright, cheery yellow, with the tiniest bit of green still hovering along the edges of its ridges.
I'm sure it still tastes good . . . to someone who likes bananas . . . but I can't even stomach the thought of peeling it open and eating it.
all that potassium gone to waste.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

sea legs

I finally have them.
my cycling legs.
it's taken a few months, but they are back.
thank goodness.

every spring, no matter what's taken place over the winter, it's like starting from the beginning.
the first month's rides are almost full of zone 5, my heart pounding like crazy with each little rise and hill.  then it settles a little so that only 80% of the time am I up in zone 5.  then it backs off a little more, and I'm only in zone 5 half the time.
the rest of the time I'm in zone 4B, just a few beats lower than zone 5.
then comes a day when I am more often in 4B than 5:  the scale tips,
alerting me to the fact that one day, soon, I'll have my cycling legs back.

according to most every source, the roots of the phrase "sea legs" come from seafarers being unable to hold on stably while a vessel constantly rollicked on the water, recognizing that they needed to develop their sea legs.  it's believed the phrase first came into use in the early 1700s.

a period of adjustment exists for every sea-goer, allowing them to get used to walking, sitting, and simply being on something that rolls with the motion of the water.  and when the sea-goer spends time on land again, the sea legs gradually disappear, until they return to the vessel and adjust again.

the same thing happens for us cyclists who are unable to ride our real bikes during the winter months... we lose our cycling legs, and have to earn them back.

I think I've finally earned mine back.
I ride up hills and rises and just barely touch zone 5; I feel I'm back in control.
I have my cycling legs back.
thank goodness.