...when I want to pull up the covers and want to stay in bed. A long time.
...when I slog through the slop and slush and pull the collar up against the harshest of winds.
...when the sun is mired by gray, mottled skies and barren trees have curled up and tight-fistedly withhold their life deep within.
It is on such a winter's day when I will reach into the deep, wrinkled recesses of my brain, pull out a flask, push the cork up with my thumb, set it aside and allow this summer day to spill into my senses once again:
The indescribably perfect weather! Mid 80's, sunny, blue-skies...sends a thrill down my spine and gets my legs twitching for action!
The knowing exchange of grins with my cycling buddy...UP for a challenge, excitedly venturing out into unknown territory, even if there WERE two HUGE climbs! We were OFF to the Delaware Co. Fair!
The rolling green hills, lush with LIFE!
The serendipitous meeting up with several other bike club members out enjoying a stretch of cycling in common with our path.
The salty upper lip.
The goose-bumpy thrill of savoring what I knew was a beautiful and unique day which could never quite be replicated.
The banana butt break at the convenience store, DOWNING a cold soda on top of yet more water.
The drenching sweat while stopped and the cooling chill as it dries with the breeze once we start up again on our bikes!
The delicious foot-long turkey sub, split between us and devoured...perfectly hitting our mutual cycling appetite's spot and drenched with LOTS of iced tea!
The black-eyed Susans, marigolds and other flowers planted around some homes, breaking up the gorgeous variations of rolling green and random lavender patches.
The struggle of the uphill climbs and even the one walk when I strayed too far into the gravel on the shoulder and could no longer manage to stay upright. Joining my cycling buddy who had already been walking due to the limitations of climbing posed by her steadfast, but old 10-speed bike and enjoying our hike to the peak. Smiling, chatting, not a shred of what I've referred to in the past as "the walk of shame."
A large bumble bee bonking off my sunglasses as I streaked down a hill, surprising us both.
The lazy Susquehanna river winding and twisting along, following us for much of the ride.
Pedaling alongside a doe and her fawn, startling it into a gallop wondering what this two-wheeled behemoth was doing moving almost as fast as she when she LEAPS across my path nearly crossing the entire road in a single bound! My cycling buddy was ever-so-pleased I was in the lead as she is positive she would have freaked and warped us all into one big road-kill accident...lol!
Getting lost and *almost* loving it...! (A street / road sign had been twisted causing us to go straight instead of turn.) With the help of passers-by not straying TOO far off-course and finding our way into Walton.
No flats, falls, mishaps of any kind!
And although this was a trip to the Delaware County Fair, the fair was...meh, an afterthought. It was the stupendous one-way ride TO the fair that made this a day to savor for years to come...!
Yes, bottling this for the coldest, most unpleasant days of winter, when I've hit my nadir. This will be the cure for what ails me...!
Today's ride wasn't the longest of rides, 54 miles, but it was one of the steepest, with over 3,000 feet of climb! AND it was done after a 7-day hiatus from cycling as I had a return of the piriformis syndrome, causing me earlier in the week to hobble my way through my lawn-mowing duties, thinking horrible thoughts and fears that I had developed some crippling arthritis in my hip that was going to limit my cycling journeys!
Then after a day or two it dawned on me: this had happened to me before! Piriformis! Stretches! I needed to double up on and revive some of the old stretches I'd done before to correct the problem. My massage therapist sister would smack me upside the head if she knew: DOH!
So after a week of minimal cardio, MAXIMUM stretching and keeping up with my upper body ST I returned to the road, unsure of my capabilities.
Piriformis? Piri-POOF! I'm baa-aack! :-)
Here's the GPS of today's ride:
bringing my 2011 total up to 1290 miles.
Sending out wishes for everyone to have summer days of your own to savor. Bottle it! Cork it! The days are shortening ever-so-quickly! Make 2011 will a vintage, full-bodied year for yourselves!