Lately, I have been so enthralled by every ride. That seems to be a feature of Springtime. After the cold winter, the first month of longer rides and warmer fingers and toes are always incredible.
I have felt this Especially in the current moment. When all the world seems to be different than it was only weeks ago. When there is so much uncertainty and turmoil.
Thankfully we are still able to work. So far the only disruption to my life is social and schedule related. Yet, every day feels tense. To be able to leap on my bicycle and disappear into the distance and be away from tension for a time is a release that I appreciate now more than ever.
Yesterday Jason and I disappeared into a misty morning. The sky was grey. Some call such a sky gloomy. Jason and I don’t call it that. As a matter of fact, we discussed this very subject on our ride. Grey sky can be incredibly calming and peaceful. It doesn’t bring the same ebullient joy as a bright blue sky but not everything needs to be vibrant and exuberant. Peace and calm may be just what is needed at this moment.
We rode into the morning and out of town. Heading south towards the small town of Sprague. Many of the roads had been freshly graded. The crunchy sound of tires over tiny stones is one of the happiest sounds I know of. Likely due to memories of previous rides.
A short stretch of minimum maintenance road made the whole ride feel more adventurous. I found myself riding harder on that portion. Picking lines carefully along the ruts left by truck tires. Dodging mud in the valleys of the rolling hills. The sound changes. Dirt is not crunchy like gravel. It’s coarse and it has grit but with a plush springy finish. After the loose gravel, the more solid dirt road made me feel like I was flying on the descents and my tires found quick and steady purchase on the climbs, encouraging me to test my mettle.
We talked about various things and we stopped along the way to look at four little donkeys through our binoculars. They were peculiar. They noticed us and moved slightly in our direction, lining up and looking at us. As we observed each other, the donkeys rearranged themselves. Two of them would walk from one side around and behind the other two. They did this dance on and off, the whole time we watched them. On occasion, one or the other of them would turn in a circle. Their coats were still full and thick from the winter, making them seem a bit paunchy and fluffy. They were delightful.
There were many good things about this ride. Beauty is really everywhere. I think focusing on such things even when it is hard to do so is good for a person’s soul. I think bicycles are good for a person’s soul.