I rode away from everyone and everything early in the morning on a hill that leveled to a faintly breezy ridge that opens to a blurry river at the farthest border of useful vision. Shortly, in the shelter of a piney forest, my cadence, such as it was, slacked to a stop. I took a drink, and enjoyed the bird song and quiet as my own breathing fell to less of an uproar. Thankful, I rolled around and nosed into the descent. The thick wall of trees and the piles of fallen needles absorbed the sound of my passing. The enchantment would vanish, the way it always does for riders like me, when the road would turn up again. I’d shatter and fail in a vain attempt to ride the hills with grace and panache. No easy and endless energy. No elegant spin and position.
I found an imperceptible furrow in the wind and gained speed. I traced it for a few more minutes, down that hill and up others and across some brief false flats. I rode like me. And for a brief while that too was good enough.