On the Road Again

The sky was blue, with temperatures in the mid-40s. The roads were almost completely dry, with the occasional puddle to avoid. The snow was receding from the roads, and small white piles were all that indicated someone once shoveled the sidewalks. It was like spring had returned, except in spring the piles are black with dirt.
Initially I thought I overdressed, but a few miles down the road I felt the wind and was glad I had that extra layer. As I rode across base and towards the mountains, the snow got progressively deeper and closer to the road. The bike path I took for a short distance had half-frozen ice patches in the shade, so I decided to alter my route somewhat. Instead of the circuit I've done dozens of times this year, I rode the gold-standard of Anchorage time trial courses. It was there and clear, so I took advantage.
I wasn't riding fast, but I was riding.
I rode this same course seven years during the my first bike race. I was fat and out of shape, despite having ridden regularly for a few years before that. I had no reason to go faster, so I didn't. Racing gave me a reason.
Today I wasn't trying, and I rode faster than I did on that day. I didn't notice this until afterwards, because I was too busy enjoying the ride. I'm sure people who drove by probably thought I was suffering by the look on my face, but I was truly happy.
I was riding.

I may get in other pavement rides this fall, or I may be doomed to the trainer. Today I grabbed the chance at riding, and was rewarded for it.
Today was also the birthday of the girl who was my initial inspiration for racing. Nine years has gone by far too quickly, but thanks to that decision I feel younger today than I did then.
Yay bikes.


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