Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Monday of this week, three friends helped me “ride my age”, and it will be a long time before I forget my recurring feelings of exhaustion and elation during the ride. It was a wearying six hours for me. I had not ridden my bike for more than three hours at one time during the summer, so the extra three hours slowly drained my get-up-and-go. There were many times when I just wanted to stop the bike, get off, and sprawl by the side of the road. All my muscles felt like flab and soft spaghetti. By the 50th mile, I felt thoroughly washed out. My much younger mates were kind and considerate to me and tried hard to hold themselves to a reasonable “old timer” pace, but they still sometimes seemed to be racing, whereas I wanted to simply spin along as slowly as possible. However, every so often a sense of pure elation would take me by surprise, and suddenly my muscles felt full of youth again. They were feelings of happiness, hope, and especially gratitude – gratitude that I’m able to turn bicycle pedals on peaceful beach and farmland roads for miles and miles. At the very end, at mile 68, I felt totally fortunate to be out there under the summer sun with sweat soaking my florescent yellow shirt.

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