Birthday Ride 2011

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Way back in the day Jenni didn’t ride in the cold. Nope she packed it in, whined about the cold, and refused to budge. But how could she refuse a birthday celebration ride? Years later I think she’s captured the essence of the day and ride rather well. And is no longer the “ice pansy” she used to call herself.

We’ve ridden in sleet and rain without knowing where we were. We’ve ridden on an ice riddled bike path when it was so cold that everyone gave in and just wore their winter coats. Doing even 4 miles seemed like insanity on that ice without skates. Last year I did a version of this route as I planned to ride it a lot—seemed like a fitting way to start the season.

The route goes up for a while, but we were in no rush, and it gentles at times to give you a break. I admit though, that this ride and I became good friends over the last year as was my plan. It was part of my “go to” ride, so I might not have thought about Jenni’s reaction to it (she did it with me at least once last year) until I heard some world class whining coming from just behind. Not, I should say, that she needs impetus for world class whining, but she was in truly rare form. I admit it rendered me speechless. I say that with no disrespect for my own champion level ability to whine, but she really took it to another level. Well done!

The day was a clean, clear winter’s day. Everything was bright and sparkling. Bright sun. Deep blue skies. Cold, but not overwhelmingly so, and the wind was a reasonable 9MPH. After riding on nothing but fat tires for the last few months I dropped some skinnies on the Kish and was delighted by the easy roll. And I was comfortable on the hills despite the seemingly inevitable winter weight gain. (I tried, I failed, Allez!)

But this ride is never about “cycling”. It’s about getting out on my bike in January regardless of the conditions and feeling the joy of life. Meant in the best of ways, I never laugh more than when I ride with Jenni.

Yes, it’s true, I took no pictures because I didn’t want to stop to un-glove, get cold etc. And maybe one day I’ll miss the evidence of this ride. But for now, the sunlight, the pink bike, the whirring of carbon laden tights, and the laughter are as totally clear as the air we breathed.

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