One of my favorite parts of riding is idly wondering, with the 2 brain cells that are still functioning, where I left my lungs on the road. That's a good Tuesday night ride, when that happens, right there!
Here is what I believe is beautiful about cycling
Every ride is an adventure, if we are are observant of changes and happenings along our route, and open to the unexpected and unusual...or even delight in the everyday and commonplace.
I ride for stimulation of the senses...ever-changing scenery, architecture, clouds, and light, the smiles of people you pass...hot sun, cool shade, raindrops, and breezes on your skin, a cleansing shower after the ride, warm, dry clothes...tires humming on smooth new pavement, crystalline snow and dry leaves crunching under your wheels...church bells chiming, fountains gurgling, wind rustling leaves, the rushing of streams and waterfalls, the songs of children coming from a school window...a cold beer and a toasted panino, a cup of steaming hot tea, a coffee and brioche--how much better they taste! The scents of pine forests, cow manure, pastries baking, coffee brewing, the must fermenting after the grape harvest...
And I ride for the human element that can only be experienced from that simple, humble, innocent, yet magnificent little machine...the connection with the friends we ride with, the interaction with those we meet and greet along the way, with strangers we stop to chat with: I've been invited for coffee with of a family of strangers (no longer) in their home in a small mountain village...invited to share tiramisù and sweet, fizzy must by a woman I asked directions of while riding down an unpaved road in the hills...invited to join a festival in a tiny hamlet, where I was given a tour of the hundreds-year-old church, offered a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, then serenaded with a folk song by the townspeople...and so much more...all because I showed up on my bicycle. Experiences I treasure, golden memories I'll never forget...like this:
donnamobile, i've often analogized my bike trips to foreign lands as that of a medieval knight riding into a village on his horse, elevated yet exposed, wearing the colors (jerseys) of his land, where just enough notice of difference is taken by the locals to encourage questions, conversations, momentary friendships and memories to last a lifetime.
One of my favorite rides in that regard was just happening onto a Bobcat trailside. I stopped to take a look (and to keep a safe distance frankly!). He stared at me for about 30 seconds and just slinked off as silent and unconcerned as can be.
It's true, every ride is a chance to see or discover something.
Great posts for a cold winter day. Add these to the list...
- Discovering all the things you forgot you knew about riding, as you teach your wife techniques and ways to ride better.
- The sound of smooth rhythmic breathing and whirring pulley wheels on the downwind ride home.
- Riding home, alone, in the worst conditions. Sun setting, sky gray and cold, wind and sleet against your face, knowing you have a warm home waiting.
- Friends. And more friends.
- The unwritten, but recognized, rules of a group ride when you reach certain stretches of road the talking stops, the line gets strung out, you do your share of work on the front, and everyone rotates smoothly through with an equal amount of trust and hard work.
- Researching vacations and new places to ride.
- Really, no REALLY, enjoying a warm meal with friends after a day on the bike.
- Waving to riders you see every day, going the other direction on the commute; riders you may never meet, but you know just the same.
- The Alps, Blue Ridge Parkway, California's Central Coast, the Rockies -- and the great food and people you meet there.
Great stuff all.
As someone upthread noted.
Speaks volumes who does and who does NOT have anything to contribute to this thread.
I will add the mechanical aspect. I love dialing in a bicycle mechanically.
The handlebar wrap after a bike build is like that scene from Frankenstein. Finally giving the bike life. "It's alive...ALIVE!!!"It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
Meditation - before I knew what that was
Yellow Campy component boxes lining my shelves after I built my first quality racing bike in 1979
Hitting 62mph on the way into Leadville racing a thunderstorm
Going to Italy to race and ride for a month
The smell of TriFlow
A new set of bibs
A paceline that works
Racing the sunset home and seeing your shadow stretched out accross a field
Those days when you can't get tired
When the bike dissappears beneath you
Pizza and beer after a long day
I always seem to be faster when I can see that shadow laying out in front of me; I have no idea why. Racing that is one of those unexpected cycling pleasures for sure.
Hoshie99. Racing the shadow works. I remember reading an interview with the head of some guy's RAM team and he said that at night they would drive the van behind the rider with the headlights on and noticed that he (the rider) always moved the bike to a specific position in the lights and they were able to speed up the van a bit and he would speed up to stay in that position.
One of the things is enjoying what you see from the saddle of your bike. My wife got a new bike this past summer, had it properly fitted and as a result, greatly increased her cycling enjoyment factor. She road over 1,500 miles in 2012, which is the most ever for her.
She started a tumblr blog with pics mostly of things she see's while riding. I'm a bit biased, but I think she does a great job with the oics. Nothing fancy, but they document what we have to offer here in Central NY.
This link is the most current page of the blog.
This link is the oldest page
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