Going the Extra Mile

I have my son-in-law (gasp) Sean to thank for the ride I took today (wheeze) all the way out to (gurk) Sterling and back.  I wasn’t planning on anything so (pant) long, but he talked me into (cough) it.  During post-church coffee hour, between watching grandson Ben eat grapes and granddaughter Emma walk unassisted (!) to get where she wanted to go, he asked me how far I’d be riding today.  We observed what a great day it was–mostly sunny, warm but not hot, and low humidity–and he mentioned that it was supposed to get warmer and more humid over the next couple of days.  He was a bit surprised when I told him that according to my (informal) “program” for getting back into shape, I’d be doing just a normal ride, and taking a longer one tomorrow.  Also, I must admit, Sunday rides are less of a pleasure because of the heavy volume of traffic on the Trail.

Sean, your words rang in my ears as I took off down Academy Street today.  All afternoon ahead of me, a beautiful day: I could visualize the trail leading out to Sterling.  A couple of miles into my ride I knew that my legs were feeling good (far better than Friday in the heat and humidity), and my energy level seemed high.  After a few more miles I realized that I was fighting a mild headwind.  All the better; I’d have a tailwind coming home.  Even the trail traffic seemed improved.  Yes, it was there, with its families of five or six single-file slow pedalers, half of them kids on little pink bikes, its teenagers frantically pedaling from a low seat position at high cadence and low gear with knees flying around, its stocky weekend warriors in that upright position on urban hybrid bikes.  But even they (mirabile dictu) seemed to know what they were doing, and to be sparse enough to let the rest of us roll along.  There was no stopping me.  I was going for it.

And it was a great ride, 30 miles, that left me invigorated and thinking I might do the same distance in tomorrow’s heat and humidity.  All that wheezing at the beginning was just for stage effect; the ride left me breathing easy.  So thanks, Sean, for your implicit carpe diem.  Consider the day appropriately seized.

©Arnold J. Bradford, 2011.

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