It was nothing spectacular. Warm autumn day, I go out with no particular goal in mind. It’s 80 degrees and sunny… and 20 mph winds with gusts to 30! I didn’t worry about speed (though I noticed it from time to time). I didn’t watch my odometer. I just rode. Avoided the new development with all the gravel patches and headed straight for the MUP. Cruising along at 12-14 mph, didn’t hit the little garter snake that was enjoying the sunshine. Coddled myself a bit and shifted into my low gear to climb the little hill up into the next neighborhood and crested effortlessly, breathing just a little hard. Voice in my head (sounds kinda like Susan!), “Drink, Becky!” and I forego my typical burst of speed down this road to have some water. Wave at the guy I’ve seen cycling recently, who’s watering his lawn, and turn into the next neighborhood. Down.. then up… surprised that I’m already at the top. Shifting perfectly. Down.. up… and here’s my favorite place. Poised at the intersection of a road that gets busy on weekdays, but is isolated today. I look right toward a road that scares me, then left - to a quarter mile of gentle downhill, followed by a long flat stretch, and not a car in sight. Big drink, powerful push off… shift up, up, up into my highest gear… 20 mph.. 25… onto the flat, over the bridge, and notice I’m still doing 25! Passed by a car - it seems like they’re going slow. Wonder if they’re marveling at how fast this fat girl can fly on her bike! At this point I’m normally struggling to stay above 15, but with the wind at my back, I keep my speed at 20 all the way to the next neighborhood. It feels glorious! Turn right at the school, and head toward the golf course. Long flats, another drink… before I know it I have to make a decision again. All around are new roads with no houses, no people, no construction (yet). I choose left, to the loop that feels like a hill even though it looks flat. “Up” going slow, slow, slow… then “down” with effortless speed. Back toward home, knees starting to feel some pressure, left foot beginning to tingle, but everything feels easy. Over-polite car tries to yield to me at an intersection. Left, right.. suddenly I’m home. Some planters have blown over. Leaves are scattered. I feel just tired enough to feel good. Check clock and odometer: About 6 miles. About 30 minutes. A short ride a couple of months ago, but my longest one since Mille Lacs.
I think I love the wind. Looking forward to my next ride, and more glorious autumn days!