Two years ago I had a secret. I was about to go and see my best girl for the first time in 26 years. I was nervous and hopeful. I am re-posting this from the days before we met so you understand that when I write about bike rides, they are almost never really about bike rides. That's one of the reasons bikes are magical creatures.
I filled my jersey pockets with big scooping handfuls of Munson sand
last night so that I would not float away. I felt light, not just in
heft, but light of heart as well. Worry-free, content. I pedaled into
the malingering crowd a moment before departure. There is W.B. There is
his enforcer, his son. There is Big Worm. I bobbed along near them,
daylight blinking beneath my tires as I inhaled and exhaled.
I left the pack in the car. No tube, no pump, no patchkit. No tools,
first-aid kit, spare glasses or food. Two strong legs, a water bottle,
and some hope for the future- that's all I carried. I joined the current
of riders as they seeped up the trail. At the top of the hill someone
said, "If you want to go fast, then go now" and everybody waited. Two
guys, then Big Worm, and when nobody moved for his wheel, I took it.
We galloped along in big ground-gobbling strides, and I hung on long
enough to taste what it might be to belong there. After 5 or so miles
the spell was broken. Maybe I tapped a brake, or burned the last
molecule of the previous day's hamburger, but I kept on. I watched the
Clydesdale on the back of Worm's jersey slowly pull away through the
trees until it was gone.
I waited for the WB, and rode it in with he and his boy, my barrel
smoking and low on ammo. Too much fun, too much stupid available joy to
be had, out there floating away.