Walking back from the grocery store I begin to realize how warm it is. Freakishly warm. Gloves off. Hat off. Jacket unzipped. And even more amazing is the fact there is no wind. None. New Mexico is windy, as is much of the west, so anyone who rides a lot knows just what this means.
I speed up and unload at the house, open the van, retrieve the bike, assemble the bike and start the great hunt for my kit. I’ve ridden once in the last few months, and that was a strange combination of ride and photo-recon. Today will just be pushing the pedals.
My legs are sore from the run/hike so I set no expectation for myself. Just spin. Enjoy it. But the feel of the bike comes back and on the horizon, in front of me, I see the faint outline of another rider. Will I catch them? Three layers plus wind and I’m set. Gloves are good above thirty-five. The bike needs a lube but I’m out. The chain making a light rubbing sound.
Out, down, over and up. The same route I’ve done hundreds of times but it feels SO good. Dirt under my wheels. Muddy ruts in the bottoms and dry powder at the tops. This land is harsh, it takes, and there isn’t anything any of us can do about it other than respect and enjoy.
These breaks in the winter can’t be overlooked or underutilized. Tomorrow the low is ten degrees and the high twenty-four. There will be no biking. So when you get the chance tell those little lazy voices to stay inside.