Six-thirty comes early on a Saturday. Rolling over and going back to sleep takes a bit of resistance. Not quite strength, but nothing short of strong will.
As the alarm went off this morning I realized two things — this was the second time I’ve set an alarm since leaving Discovery and I really hate WYPR on a Saturday morning. I hit the snooze button. It was only natural.
Eight minutes later, I something clicked. I’d known that the reason for the alarm was to get up to ride, but to be honest, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to get out of bed and meet the peloton when the alarm first went off. I could certainly ride on my own as I did a few weekends ago. But something clicked, and I got myself out of bed and scrambled into a pair of bibs and a jersey.
Since, I’d stayed in bed for an extra eight minutes, I really didn’t have time to make coffee. I grabbed an energy bar and a banana, filled the water bottles with Gatorade and headed to the shed. Walking out the door, I looked at the thermometer. 58F.
Let me tell you now, I need a new thermometer. Or at least a wind gauge. As I rode out of the neighborhood I was hit with a wall of wind coming out of the northwest. That meant that the ride into town would be nice, the ride home would be — well — sucky.
I met up with the peloton at the appointed place and we were treated to a lesson in philosophy. I’d passed the man on the trail on the way to the Rusty Bridge, but hadn’t taken notice of him. Now that he had an audience he was revved up. He kept talking about our “blinky-blinks” (lights) and that it cost money to do what we were doing and that we were doing this for ourselves and that was good. Then he noticed the lone female cyclist among us (who also had never ridden with us) and said something to the effect that we all owed here a debt of gratitude because without her, none of us would be here. I’m sure it made sense in our philosopher’s reality. Ann took it in stride.
Now, we usually don’t start bang on at 7:30, but today we did. We needed to get rolling to get away from Mr. Kierkegaard and his rants before he got into the whole Fear and Trembling bit. The ride down was brisk but pleasant. Twenty-four of us took were headed down the trail, but we lost one rider to a broken derailuer and were down to 23 at the end of the trail.
I had some good conversations with a few of the riders that I knew from previous rides on the way into town. One rider, I’d run into in my professional life earlier this week, and Chris and I talked about how it really is a small world. Another, I’d not seen in several months and we got a chance to catch up a bit. In short, it was nice to see the group.
At breakfast, I ended up sharing a table with Ann, and we got to talking about her writing. Ann is living at least one of the dreams that I’ve had for some time. To be a writer and make money at it. She was totally willing to share here story and give me some background on how she got started. This kind of information is invaluable and I was grateful to get a chance to pick her brain on the subject. We ended up riding back to Severna Park together and had a great conversation the whole way.
In the end, I logged 38.73 miles in just under 3 hours of riding time and felt great about it. If I’d rolled back into bed, I probably would have gone that distance today, but I would have missed out on so much more. I’d have missed the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of cycling.