First Ride

The night before: Lunch is made, bags are packed. Shoes and gear are pulled from their hiding places.
The morning of: Trying to make sure nothing is forgotten. Fill the tires with air. Bundle up. Cold for the first five minutes, huffing and puffing. Remembering every pothole, crack, and bump. Lights blazing down the deserted trail. Passing old friends, just as crazy as me. Am I halfway there yet? Hard to remember. Sucking down the water, breathing harder. There’s the old folks sitting out on their porch, as ever. Almost there, one more big hill. Sweating for the last ten minutes in spite of the 38 measly degrees. Relief: I made it.
The evening of: Much warmer now, stuffing the bags with the unneeded cold weather gear. Did I remember everything? I think so. Start down the road. My water! Always something forgotten. Pushing on, avoiding the sand and grit left over from last month’s snow. Up the really big hill now, that wasn’t so bad. More people on the trail this afternoon. New Year’s resolution folks, they’ll be gone in a couple of weeks. Stopped at a light, sunglasses fogging up. Hey, they repaved this formerly pothole infested road! Small miracles. Home again. Ready to do it again tomorrow? You bet.
The first bike ride of the New Year.