Today may not have been my actual birthday (it’s tomorrow) but it sure felt like it. I slept in, overslept actually, and woke up feeling better than I have since I first started with a cold more than a week ago. And I toasted a bagel, had a cup of coffee, and set off on an adventure with my bike and a desire to get lost in the afternoon sunshine. There was little if any wind, and I explored a lot of back roads I’ve always wondered about. Well, now I know that they’re all connected and if a person is ever lost around here they’ll eventually get looped back to where they started. The roads were all smooth and rolling and almost totally traffic-free, lots of open pastures and blank stretches I’d fear being stranded on. More than once I thought to myself how good it feels to be alone and lonely in an empty place and then return to the safety of my own living room, telling my parents about how wonderful everything was and picking bugs out of my helmet vents. I actually had to call my dad and give him road names to figure out where I was, and reluctantly headed for home with a total of 43 miles ridden. I think many cyclists, like myself, tend to leave the garage for a training ride and think about their lactate threshold, power output, average speed, cadence, etc. and turn every ride into a sort of internal competition. I do that a lot. But today I was very content to sit up, watch the scenery scroll past my shoulders, and just pedal, and I fell in love with riding my bike again. I mean, you know it’s been a great day when you see your driveway and actually feel a little disappointed to be finished.
As a side note, I did have a sort of birthday dinner with my family tonight. Home-made cheesecake with cherries, and my parents were thoughtful enough to get me a box of Clif Shots and Sport Beans. I was promised something else soon via UPS, it’s a mystery to me, but I would have been completely satisfied if nothing more than today’s ride had come to me wrapped in a ribbon.