Clean

I finished up a long, solid ride with lots of climbing. The legs felt empty when I got home. Empty of all of the shame, regret, sloth, and pork fat that shape my world.
 
My legs felt clean.
 
It's one of the things I love about cycling. When you put everything you have into a ride, what's left is stripped of all of the extraneous junk that sometimes accompanies the sport.
 
I pulled up to the garage and noticed the wife and kids weren't home, so I pulled out the race bikes and began to scrub. The layers of dust, sweat, and unidentifiable substances slowly stripped away, until they seemed almost as clean as my legs felt. The process left me with a feeling that I had accomplished something. That somehow I was ahead of the curve instead of constantly playing catch-up. It's a rare feeling for me, and I savored every moment.
 
Clean.
 
The post-ride shower removed the last vestiges of the previous four hours, and a few swipes with the razor cleared off the errant leg hairs I noticed during the ride as I found my breath at the top of one of those climbs.
 
Clean.
 
I ride to feel clean.

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