Sunday, June 03, 2007

Making the most of days

Originally uploaded by cbnystrom
Back in the day time on the beach was spent reading, chilling, and catching waves (on the rare occasions when there were waves worth catching).

Nowadays this photo shows what I see. And "Play DaDa" is what I hear. So I dig sand, chase seagulls, and splash in the surf. And it's really amazingly cool.

We just got back from a quick trip to Sarasota (Siesta Key) to visit family and hang out on the beach for a few days.

This meant a few days off the bike letting the legs recover. To balance that out I hit it hard last week, waking up early and riding the trails at 5am.

Getting out of bed for a pre-dawn patrol ride is rough, but once rolling it's a wondrous experience. The trails are devoid of human intrusion. It's just me, some rabbits, and the occasional fox on the prowl. Even Bambi is still asleep.

Lights are obligatory for the first half of the ride. Though the sky is dark, with each passing minute the horizon hints at the coming day. That deep, murky blue of first light is hypnotizing and somehow comforting as I connect with a small patch of lighted singletrack amid the dark and lonely woods.

With each pedalstroke I become more awake and tuned into my surroundings. It doesn't take long. Focus is critical when riding at night and with focus comes flow. Flow is a word that is perhaps overused when waxing on mountain biking, but that's ok. It captures the essence of that feeling of rider, bike, and trail becoming one. It's a sweet feeling. Sublime, blissful, orgasmic. Yup, those words all capture the spirit of the thing. Apologies to Reg Dunlop and Dickie Dunn.

By the second half of my loop there's enough light emerging from the sky to make the artificial illumination from my Nite Rider mostly redundant. In the denser sections of the woods that's debatable so I keep it on.

Rolling out of the singletrack and back into my neighborhood I notice that the day has begun. Runners are humping up the road and the early birds are already in their cars on the way to work. I can't help but feel that I know some secret code for happiness that all these other people are oblivious to. After a morning ride I'm ready to tackle the bullshit of the day with a smile.

I was looking forward to continuing the morning rides this week, but a bunch of rain has changed those plans. I've even considered riding the trainer, but I'm not that desperate yet! It looks like I'll be riding the pavement this evening, but the weather is looking decent through the weekend.

I'm hoping to resume the pre-dawn rides as soon as the trails dry out. What better way to start the day than with a mountain bike ride, followed by a triple-shot from the Gaggia.

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