I have always loved putting on gear. I loved squeezing into damp, smelly wet suits. I loved putting on two pairs of knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads and my crusty Pro Tech helmet. I dig putting the battery in my Camelback, arm warmers, leg warmers the Cool Max base shirt... HELL YA! Gimme some more stuff to put on! Some part of me knows its game time and soon I will be doing something that "normal" people think is weird.
I rode past the election signs in my neighborhood out to Blairstone. I cringed through the corner of my first road crash, but after that it was all big ring and breathing. Big Jim Slade's words were still ringing in my ears:
"Charge your light I want to ride a long way tonight!"
I was late, stoked and running through hypothetical routes in my mind. All I cared about was being in the dark and riding for more than two hours.
We picked up Cliffie (his real name because nothing else would work) on Fern and off we went. I lead out the lower part of Tom Brown. Cliff lead out Cadillac, and Slade got us out of the Alford maze. Lights came on, things got cold and when we split back at the Fern levy, everyone was happy and hungry. I rode home down Blairestone as hard as I came out. I caught a couple guys on bikes on Woodgate hill, and chastised them for not running lights. I heard one of them drop some gears behind me, so I rose out of the saddle, stomped my big ring, and he was a memory.
Back at head quarters, dinner was on the table and iced tea was brewing.
Never doubt the power of a good ride.