Friday, April 25, 2014

Rolling out, rolling on

A short pause in the journey
Middlesex County, ON
April 2014
I had been waiting a while for a day like this. Sunny, warm, relatively light long weekend traffic, and just enough openness on the schedule to allow some time for a leisurely cruise through the agriculture-dominated townships that encircle London and offer up a ready-made escape from the noise and chaos that typically define life here.

I hadn't been on the bike in a very long while - a story that I'll get into when the time is right - so I was understandably nervous as I cleaned everything off, pumped up the tires and ensured all the parts were working as they should. It felt a little alien to be handling my machine again, almost as if I had lost my muscle memory over the long winter, or forgotten what "normal" felt like. Still, deep down I knew this was what I should be doing. It was time.

I've had this bike forever. I'm not much of a "stuff" person, but outside of my camera equipment, this is as close as I'll get to having a beloved "thing" as I'll ever get. It's a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp that I've hybridized with slicks and other commuter-ish add-ons. It's taken me, nearly silently, to places I simply would never have seen otherwise. It's kept me in shape, focused my mind when I've needed focus, and calmed me when I've needed a momentary break from the world.

And yet I had let it gather dust for far too long. Life got in the way. And today was the day to get rid of the dust and tell life to stuff it.

So as buttoned everything up, filled up the water bottles and pushed off from in front of our driveway and circled the cul-de-sac a couple of times to get my bearings, it took a few seconds until that sense of balance returned to erase any lingering doubts I might have had. Already I knew: I could still do this.

I turned toward the main road, spun my legs up and felt the wind rustle past my ears as I slowly gathered momentum and settled into an easy cadence. Where I was headed was less important than the fact that I had made it to this point at all.

More to come...

No comments: