Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let It Snow

What is it about bike riding that decreases distances in our eyes? Four years ago, if I were to go and stand where my house now is, look at Paris the only mountain looming in the south and then tell myself I was going to ride a bike to the top, I would have laughed at myself.

Now as I pedal closer and closer to that rising plateau in the distance it seems so short by endurance cycling standards. That’s why I don’t mind pedaling with only one gear the entire way to the top.

Watching the sunset in the west, seeing the water tower loom close to my house where I was 40 minutes ago, I can see my shadow bouncing against the pink rays as I pound the pedals toward the pavement in a rhythmic dance with the black asphault. When you ride to the trails, it makes you appreciate the dirt ten fold once you lay your treads down in it.

I had corresponded with Rick earlier in the day and I knew that he would be headed up the mountain around 6. When I dropped in on Fire Tower, I saw somebody climbing the trail and asked them the time, five till six, perfect. I descended Firetower, rode up and down the techy section of Sulphur Springs and saw two riders coming up. It was Andrew and Rick, amazing timing.

It had been awhile since I rode in Paris and there is no doubt that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I missed the carved turns, rock outcroppings and roots so I made sure to say hello to all of them last night.

From there we rode down to the lake, around the lake loop twice, back up to Brissy Ridge, down to the backside, up the back road and up Firetower. This is where we broke off as Andrew and Rick headed back down the mountain to their cars and I sat and ate my trail mix, chatting with the misfit group (That’s your group’s name until you all start coming to SORBA meetings) about where I was headed. They thought I was crazy for riding from the house but in all actuality it only takes me 10 minutes longer going back by bike than car.

As I was headed out of the neighborhood, a young lady headed out for a run had a good laugh at me. I think she probably wondered why I would be out on the cold night riding with lights on top of my head. We exchanged pleasantries though, which was nice as it doesn’t happen often these days.

Flying down the backside of Paris was cold and pleasant at the same time. I could see all the lights down below and I knew I was headed back to a warm house and an excited dog.


1 comment:

stephen said...

Nice, I wish more people would ride their bikes to the dirt, I do, and I don't regret it...