Summer’s gone, and Fall, well, Fall is good for about three or four weeks before you get that feeling that the good times are behind you and you’ve got a few months of leg warmers and long-fingered gloves and looking up various weather reports hoping to find one you’ll like, one which shows something other than rain in the days ahead. Pretty silly how spoiled I am to think like that. Basically, you can consider the beginning of winter riding to be the closing of the Sierra passes (which would be a couple days ago), with May bringing back reliably warm & dry weather. That means I’ve written off 5 months out of 12? Pretty absurd thinking, especially from someone who goes out & rides no-matter-what.
Well this morning was hardly challenging, weather-wise. A bit cooler than before, hitting a low of 41 degrees, but until we see 30-something, it doesn’t really qualify as cold. Mark, Ludo, Eric, new-guy Jarret, John… I think that’s everybody. Oh, forgot Mike! Mike, who decided to take us up through the park. It must have been meant to be, as it was the 3rd time in recent history that the gate at the bottom was open, allowing us to ride up through without doing the cyclocross thing. Overall, a pretty reasonably-paced civilized ride, at least until the upper reaches of west-side Old LaHonda, when Jarret decided to push things and suddenly it was just Jarret, myself and John, with the others trailing in sensibly behind. Somebody’s going to have to tame Jarret. Maybe Karl, when he’s back from cyclocross. In the meantime, I’ll be studying his rear wheel, looking for opportunities to latch onto it and get taken for a ride.
One thing I’m beginning to notice about the other guys I ride with. When they’re not feeling great, they hold back. If they’ve got a cold, or are recovering from a tough ride the day before, they’ll take it easy. I could probably learn something from that. For me, it’s always been about pushing myself as hard as my body would allow, which is often at odds with what my body might desire. I’ll start slowly if I’m not feeling well, but as soon as I start to feel better, I’ll push my limits. A case could be made that the other guys are a lot smarter than I am.