Friday, December 28, 2012

December Cycling

I had a 50 mile bike ride on the schedule for Sunday, but Saturday is bringing a wintery mix and Sunday it's not supposed to get above freezing. Today was supposed to be in the mid-40s and sunny so I moved the ride today. Despite the forecast, it stayed in the 30's and I never saw the sun even attempt peek through the thick cloud cover.

I can just now move my previously frozen fingers and type again. It was the first time I ever saw my breath on a ride. Still it was worth it to ride outside - there are sights, sounds, and things I think about that can only happen on a bike. You know what I'm talking about. Don't you sometimes wish you had a way to capture those moments? A way to share them with others? Just from today:
  • Pedaling up (and under) the railroad bridge/tunnel at the exact moment a train was coming and waving to the conductor and having him wave back.
  • Clif Bar in holiday Gingerbread flavor munched along the way and the yummiest orange ever enjoyed 30 miles in. 
  • Wreaths on tiny white country churches, farm fences and gates.
  • Riding by the little quirky Catawba Country store that was saved from closure not too long ago.
  • Watching beautiful blanketed horses pirouette and gallop off at the sight of the bike (I think they just wanted the excuse).
  • Herds of cattle standing at the fence line calmly watching me pass.
  • The sound of wind in my ears - like a jet engine at times.
  • Farmers moving round bales to hungry critters.
  • The smell of livestock/poo/hay that as a former horse-girl I actually quite like.
  • The truck and horse trailer driver that let the car ahead of me cross the one-lane bridge but then made me slam on the brakes as he went over (nice!).
  • The exchange of the subtle handwave with the motorcyclists and the head nod granted to the drivers who give the little steering wheel knuckle wave.
Next time I'm stuffing more of these in my pockets

This is where I waved to the train conductor,
obviously not in winter. I didn't take this pic.
It is simply gorgeous around here - those snowy mountains and
trees that look like fur!

I noticed a few recurrent themes -- waving, food, and animals. There's probably some kind of twisted psychological explanation and I'm sure I don't want to know it. Lol.

Even several years into this sport, I still sometimes can't believe the stuff I "get" to do and experience in the course of regular training. It continues to feel very new. Every swim/bike/run is accompanied by a sense of gratitude...and a degree of playfulness. I hope that never changes.