One of the coolest riders in our group, a laid back audiologist we call Chief, sat near me at the table we had at the winery and shivered and seemed unable to speak, kind of a rarity for him.
Well, we can only hope he would have done a better job with the language than that. He was, after all, a great poet who spent his life in a chair making art.
Don't get me wrong: I am for sure in serious training putting in the miles, keeping ice cream away from my mouth, et cetera but if serious training turns me into a Type A dipstick with a power meter and heart rate monitor and a training log, if cycling turns my romantic, artsy fartsy life into something akin to a machine solely purposed for maximum speed over prescribed distances, I'm looking for another way to get my exercise.
Chief was right. We could have had it tougher.
All we need to do in April is ride our bikes.
He said, "I'd call this a semi classic."
live there anymore?
But then again, we could not have had it better, because whatever our individual interests might be in cycling, just then, on that harsh April day, we were doing this together. If that's what semi classic means, I'm all in for it.
Cycling for me = mellow time. End of story.
Okay. I'll be honest. If I went to criterium practice, I would probably get dropped Air Max 90 Prm Curry
"We could be in tougher conditions than this."
temperature was dropping into the sewer system of discomfort. Wind whipped the trees and the vines in the vineyard, and to the untrained eye, nothing about all this could add up to anything good. Some of us have been racing this spring, some of us have been, like me, training for events in the future, some of us have been riding just because we think it's an excellent thing to do.
Outside, the rain was transforming into a cold drizzly mist, and the Nike Air Max Black Outfit
Anyway, to get the mopes out of my system, I did the right thing last weekend and got the hell out of town and took a train from Wisconsin all the way to the town of Carbondale in southern Illinois, where I lived for a number of years and rode multiple tens of thousands of miles with a group of really good friends who, even though I don't live there anymore, are still my really good friends.
Lord knows, I spend most of riding time alone, which I will admit is mostly my fault. I'm new in town, true, and the wise move would be to attend one of the group rides, but each of them conflicts in some way with my schedule, I guess. Or, if I were bent on proving to the world I really didn't deserve to get picked on during recess in fourth grade, I could go to criterium practice on Thursday nights only two miles from my house! and see if I can hang tough with kids twenty years younger than me in all out race one and all out race two.
We. I don't use that word much in connection with cycling as much as I should. We cyclists can't ride alone forever. Or maybe we can. Maybe some of you do.
or, worse, I would probably crash. So I'm afraid of humiliation and injury, and who wouldn't be?
Four hours later, we were still together but in a wet shivering dog way. When we hit the dirt portion of the program, the rain blubbered from the sky, and the temperature dropped to about fifty degrees, with nasty winds. We kept plowing forward, naturally, and cranked up the endless steep dirt hills and screamed blindly down the equally endless dirt descents, and by the time we reached the place we planned to stop for a break a winery south of Carbondale we were an hour behind schedule and completely soaked to the skin and also covered with a fine sandy grit that our tires had released from the wet dirt roads. We were shivering. We were starving. We were delirious. We were miserable but without complaint.
We are cyclists and are therefore not suffering under the same artistic burden to achieve greatness in verse.
He did not pause. We had another hour of riding to get home. We had southern Illinois wine. We had sandwiches on the way out to us from the winery's kitchen. We had puddles forming below each of our seats.
Nevertheless, after two months of living here, I still haven't gone on a ride, start to finish, with a local cyclist, and I've been riding just about every day.
We do things a little differently in southern Illinois. Isn't that funny how I used "we," even though I don't Nike Air Max Blue Black
Alas, I'm in a competitive profession, so when I'm riding my bike, I want to emphasize vibes concomitant with sanguine and mellow and laid back and hippie chill.
We ride cyclocross bikes even when it's not cyclocross season, and this is because 1) the rural roads are often in beyond crappy condition and 2) the dirt road network is vast Air Max 90 Sunset and hilly and about as much fun to ride as this old hippie cyclist can imagine.
And about group rides, I live in Wisconsin, and if you've paid even the slightest attention to the news over the last year, you will note that essentially every other person in this state has opposing political views. The last thing I want to do is show up for group ride and end up in a shouting match about politics.
Eliot were a cyclist living in the Northern Hemisphere, he would have started his famously unreadable poem "The Wasteland" like this: "April is a totally awesome month/ mixing bicycles with buds on the branches turning into leaves/ and taking out on rainy days"
So on April 20, a hippie holiday of some repute, ten of us left Carbondale on cyclocross bikes and rolled easily westward in the direction of the Mississippi River and the epic set of bluffs known as Larue Pine Hills. The temperature was in the high sixties with clouds and a possibility of rain that we didn't discuss. We were too happy to contemplate rain. We talked. We laughed. Nobody hammered off the front or dropped off the back in despair. We were a group of cyclists with one thing in mind: riding together.
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