There’s not much I can add, is there? It’s like that scene in Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner’s character is asked, “Is this heaven?” No, it’s West Old LaHonda. Well, that wasn’t exactly the answer in the movie, but that’s only because the movie’s producers likely hadn’t cycled ’round these parts. Still, though, Iowa? Really?
I could have started things with “It was a dark and foggy ride…” but that describes the setting, not the ride itself. Most rides, well, the way you feel about them has less to do with the variables involved with the ride itself (hills, weather, road conditions) and more to do with your frame of mind. I was reminded more than once (on today’s ride) that my frame of mind ought to be, at the very least, a bit stressed, but that’s not how I felt.
For me, riding is where I find nearly-complete control over my life. For that time I’m out there spinning the cranks, maneuvering through tight spaces, watching for cars… I am deftly handling variables being thrown at me from left, right, front & behind. There’s a certain clarity that comes with that; a feeling that you can take what’s thrown at you, if you’re careful and take each thing in order, one at a time.
You can try to reduce stress by living a decaf life, but more likely you’ll increase stress levels by thinking it’s possible, but failing miserably. I don’t think we were designed to have it easy. We’re supposed to plan, to design, to build… basically to work. So riding hard, paying too much attention to Strava, fighting for space with cars, even drinking high-octane coffee… I think that’s what we’re supposed to do.
What, me, rationalize?
This morning it was Marcus, Kevin (the Pilot), Karl, Karen, Eric, George & MarkP climbing Kings into the fog. Things held up pretty well until the clearing, which coincidentally was also where we started to see some fog. It didn’t feel like a fast ride, but we made it back to the start quite a bit earlier than other rides this year. Kind of a no-nonsense ride. A great way to start the day. –Mike–