Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Serenity of Riding Solo

After a prolonged absence, I am finally finding the motivation, and time, to write again.  Actually, it’s been more of a time issue then motivation.  (BTW – a big part of the time issue will be explained in a future post).  And, I definitely don’t have a lack of stories and adventures to share.  But for me, the longer I go without writing, the harder it is go back into it.  Typically, I need something to happen that is so special that I can’t help but share it.  Yesterday was that something special.

Yesterday, I went for my first long solo ride in a very long time.  Now, I’ve done the short 90-minute recovery rides alone but spending 3+ hours alone in the saddle is totally different.  You get to do your own thing while being alone with your thoughts.  Plus, when you mix in quiet country roads, fog in the vineyards, sunlight through the forests, and an awesome mid-ride double espresso, you simply can’t avoid feeling like you’re part of something bigger in this world.

It started when my normal Saturday group ride canceled because of the possibility of rain and very wet roads.  A couple of folks tried to pull rides together but in the end, we all did our own thing.  So, off I go with only two goals – to enjoy the world around me while pushing the pace just a little.  I accomplished both.

After riding for about 30 minutes, I realized I was overdressed and stopped to peel of a layer.  As I stood there, I realized I couldn’t hear any “people” noise.  No cars, planes, people talking on cell phones, nada!  Just the sounds of birds chirping and singing, sheep baa-ing, and the majestic cry of a lone hawk as it circled overhead.  I knew right then that this ride was going to be special.

The ride continued in that fashion. I rode along vineyards draped in sunlit fog.  I rode through forests of oaks, redwoods and bay trees.  At one point, I was surrounded by bay trees and the recent rains accentuated their powerful bouquet.  I rode along the river shrouded in fog as the sun shined brightly on the forested hilltops all around me.

I made up my route as I rode along and eventually found myself in Guerneville, where I enjoyed a double espresso from the Coffee Bazaar.  From there, it was back home through Pocket Canyon along smooth roads, through patches of dabbled sunlight and the smell of wood fires.  Being west county, there was also the occasional smell of burning “herbs” but that is a whole different kind of serenity.  To each his own I guess.

This continued all the way home.  I took unexpected turns.  I rode on some of my favorite roads.  I rode in and out of fog, shadowed canyons, and sunlight.  I continued to listen to the sounds of the world around me while I rode alone with just my own thoughts to keep me company.

I love rides like this.  Don’t get me wrong, when given the choice between riding alone or riding with friends, the friends win 90% of the time.  But in that 10% when it’s just me and my bike, those rides always seem to be special in one way or another.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have go meet my friends at The Flying Goat for today’s ride.


1 Comment(s):

Nicole said...

I was wondering if you had been in a french toast induced coma lately!! LIke I can talk...sounds like an awesome ride!!