Saturday, May 21, 2011

April May?

April showers bring May many times have we said that ditty as children.  I don't think they know it in Minnesota.  Here, spring seems to be showing it's first blush, and the weather is cold, wet and windy, though the Northerners have chided me for my thin Texas blood; they think this is a warm spell!

Yesterday's ride was relatively short, only 58 miles.  The night before I expected to  ride it in three or four hours.... the roads are wonderfully smooth, lightly traveled,  and with long rollers....a fun ride through beautiful countryside. The weather, specifically the wind, made this one of the more challenging rides I have ever done.  I think the only ride that was tougher was Alp d'Huez!  The winds howled straight into our faces at 20 mph all day, carry rain with it at times.  The short ride ended up being almost 7 hours, though true moving time was around five and a half.  It was one of those days when mental toughness prevailed.  Several times that little voice in my head told me to save my strength for another day and catch a ride, but I continued to pedal. If not for my riding companions, I might have caved in; it is so much easier to keep going when there is moral support.  Or perhaps misery loves company, or no one wants to be the first sissy, but whichever way, it's a lot easier to keep going when in the company of others.  Besides, the world was supposed to end today, and since I was the SAG driver today, yesterday might have been my last ride!

Today, the winds were much, much calmer, but it rained almost constantly.  As I said earlier, I was the SAG driver today.  Since it was such a wet ride, SAG stops were every 15 miles instead of 20.  It is a great feeling to see the riders coming in, and excited to see me.  Now, in reality,  it wasn't me that they were thrilled to see, but the opportunity to stop for a rest, get some food, and some hot coffee! ?   Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed being in support.

I had forgotten what spring smells like and was delighted to be reacquainted with the scents of my childhood.  There is an indescribable freshness in the air of land that is just waking up from a long winter's nap. The dark, rich soil, punctuated with shoots of green as crops begin to push through the earth, emits a rich, clean fragrance.  The green that is just is truly a different shade than that found later in the season or in other parts of the country.  Its color and saturation yanked me back to second grade when I perused a friend's box of 64 crayola crayons for that perfect color.  I vividly remember a 'spring green' crayon.  It was a rather odd color--not green, not yellow, but somewhere in between.  I understand the name was the color prevalent in the budding trees and the sprouting crops. ( do you say that word, you say 'cran' or 'cray-on'...things that make you go 'hmmmm').  And fishing worms....they were everywhere....and the air smelled like them, too.  I haven't seen a fishing worm in a long time.  Texas doesn't seem to have them--at least, not where I live.  I learned today, however, that they stick to one's bike like glue once they dry, and are hard to get off.  That might explain the thorough cleaning going on late in the afternoon today.

It was a nice day.  Whether because I was nice and dry in the SAG car, or because I was supporting my fellow riders, or because I revisited part of my youth, I don't know, but it was a thoroughly pleasant day, nonetheless.

I better get to bed--we have 80 miles a head of us tomorrow, and it is thundering outside right now.  More rain in the forecast, so it could be another long day in the saddle.  But, at least the world didn't end, and I get another day of riding.


1 comment:

  1. You should collect those fishing worms and sell them to bait shops!

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