Not every day out on the bike feels wonderful. During Monday’s ride I cursed myself for not dressing warmer for fifty-four degrees. Also, it felt like someone filled my front tire with lead. Every single push on the pedal pushed my patience closer to the edge.
This morning I planned better. I wore a long-sleeved t-shirt and covered my legs. Forty-five degrees feels pretty cold when you’re used to eighties and nineties during the day. Still, the humidity seeped in and the wind-chill, even at nine miles an hour, kept my muscles from warming up. I found myself urging the sun to move faster and break over the horizon so I could catch a little heat. Tomorrow I might need to break down and wear a jacket and something to keep my ears warm.
And this time, I’m pretty sure someone filled both tires with kryptonite. Or maybe I just left my wonder woman bracelets at home. That’s probably it. My breath kept fogging up my glasses, too. That makes for an extra hilarious ride. I adjusted my breathing pattern and that problem went away.
It’s possible I need to fuel my body with healthier choices. And I might need to get more sleep more consistently. A new bike would be nice, too. So would a new body, one with less creaks, aches, twitches and padding. Oh well, I’ll do what I can with what I have.
Of course after saying all that, most days on the bike rock my world and make the whole day better! That’s the truth.
I’ve set a higher mileage goal for the month of November. On today’s ride I found myself rethinking that goal. How realistic did it seem? Why would it matter anyway how many miles I ride? Who would know but me that I wasn’t reaching the goal? An awful lot of arguments with shoulder angels and shoulder devils happen while riding a bike. I think the shoulder angel won this morning. I did, after all, log eleven miles. Not too shabby.
That abundant self-talk occurs alongside a bunch of anticipation. What’s that on the path up ahead? How am I going to navigate around this four-across walking group? What are that dog’s plans and am I involved in some way? What would I do if I ended up in the canal? Should I carry pepper spray? Why is that jogger going faster than me? It’s a mental workout, too.
I feel lucky to have easy, quick access to so many trails and paths. There are hundreds of miles of canal roads, paved and not paved. My mountain bike can do both, so I’m not limited that way. There’s also plenty of power line trails, with sidewalks and without. There are even some wide paths that follow the freeway in a few places, with a tall wall so I’m not actually seeing the traffic. Sadly, very few people see the landscaping along there.
One reason I’m trying to increase my mileage lies in the curiosity I have about other paths, roads and trails. I’d like to be able to go further, see more, and explore the lesser-seen sides of things. Also, I’d like to kick some butt, get brave and try a few mountain bike trails in the San Tans or Usury Park. That sounds so, what’s the word, youthful and just downright fun. Forget this nonsense of acting my age. In my head I’m still only a teenager. Well, maybe more like a twenty-something.
This morning I’d posted a photo on Facebook of the fog today with the comment, “Foggy forty-five degree morning. Perfect for a little ride.” One of my friends replied: “Sounds like my kind of morning! I’m forty-five and a little foggy.” That made me laugh. It also reminded me of one reason I ride. I’m trying to stay clear-headed and happy. I don’t want the fog to move in to my brain and settle there, not for at least thirty more years. Maybe riding my bike will keep that mental fog away. Maybe it will help me feel younger than my middle-aged self currently feels.
I’ll see what I can do about those kryptonite filled tires today. Tomorrow’s ride can only get better, right?
I wish you happy trails and a wonderful journey wherever the path leads.