One of my greatest pleasures in life is riding a bike. When we lived in Florida, riding was effortless. With long stretches of flat road, it was easy to pick up and maintain speed. My bike computer would often clock average speeds of 20 MPH. The experience was entirely sensory. The wind in your face, the feeling of the handlebars under your palms, the sound of the changing gears as you unconsciously shifted for the best cadence. It was, in a word…awesome.
Riding in the mountains, however, is a completely different experience. While there are brief flat stretches, each ride primarily consists of grunting and gasping up the mountain roads (at about 7 MPH) and then breaking the speed limit while sailing down the other side. Seriously, the speed limit is usually 25 MPH and we often race in excess of 30.
Since we typically pick rural country roads to cycle on, the scenery is idyllic. There are gorgeous barns like the ones above and old gas stations that look like they came straight out of the 1950s.
(Oh and in case you were wondering, I had my small pocket-sized camera strapped to the handlebars so that I could take pictures during the ride.) Then there were cows! This next picture is for my friend Kasey, who was my riding/running buddy in Florida. Look Kasey, happy cows!
We also saw goats, horses, roosters and wild turkeys.
If you needed any more confirmation that we truly live in the country, there you have it. All in all, it was a very satisfying ride. Although I have to say that I’m surprised that my friend Ann is still willing to ride with me considering the strength of my fight or flight response, particularly the flight part of that equation.
You see, I’m terrified of being chased by dogs (scary childhood memory), so as soon as one runs out onto the road to chase us, I cut to the left side of the road and take off like the wind…in effect, leaving Ann to fend for herself. I’m always embarrassed after the encounter is over, but I always assure her that as soon as I get myself to safety, I’ll send back for help. It’s the kind of friend that I am.