December Winter Bike Ride

Winter Riding Today’s bike ride was one that just made you feel great to be alive. While the ride was short, it inspired me.

It was a little difficult getting out of town. Lot’s of waiting for lights and traffic. I felt strong sprinting from light to light. But once I got out of town, I was on the climb. That’s when I really felt like my body was firing on all cylinders.

As I approached the climb, I felt confident. My breathing was steady and I felt like I had plenty of energy. As I got into the groove, I realized that the climb was almost over. I could now increase my speed.

As I crested the hill, I took a swig of water and prepared for the decent. Now, it had snowed a few days ago so I had to be aware of any water, snow or ice that was on the road. Plus, there was plenty of sand on the shoulder to keep me alert.

I started to head back along my loop. I imagined I was time trial training with a local Boulder pro and thought about maximizing my wattage to attain maximum speed. In my own mind, I am right on their wheel.

As I look to the West, I see the Flatirons. As I look to the East, I see the reservoir. The reservoir iced over and perfectly still. Am I crazy to be out here on a day like today? Not at all. I’m out here for my health.

I turn East onto Baseline and start my ascent. This one is longer and not nearly as steep as the first climb. It is a gentle climb for more than 2 miles with a few false flats. As I circle the reservoir again, the Flatirons are behind me.

Most days would keep me busy waving to fellow cyclists and runners on the road, and today I only encounter a few brave souls. Today is less about community and more about being connected with nature.

The shadows and their ice spots where the sun never shines. The driveways with snow pushed out from cars escaping the snowplowed banks. And the rural bus stops where the snow has shaken off on to the shoulder. All of these challenges keep me focused on the road so I may choreograph my maneuvers into traffic.

I continue up hill. What’s my speed? Can I go faster? If I push myself a little more, can I go one mile per hour faster? Yes, I got plenty left. Yes, two miles per hour faster. Smooth pedal stroke to keep this pace.

Back to town and more road traffic. Traffic lights and brake lights. More stop and go. My ride is almost over. My legs still feel great. Resting at traffic lights breaks up my rhythm. I try and stay present to the pedal stroke. Pedaling with power and grace to make the motion look effortless to everyone else.

Have I inspired anyone? Probably not. I have inspired myself to write this post. I have inspired myself to go out and ride again tomorrow.