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Saturday, October 6, 2012

From Anger and Disappointment to Complete Happiness

"I can't get the pump to go beyond 10 psi. All the air just comes right back out," Hubby said, coming into the kitchen where I was fixing my pancake breakfast before setting off for a group ride.

"You broke the valve." I wasn't happy. I only had one spare tube. Now I had none to carry with me on the ride.

I ate while he worked on the tire then went to the bedroom to get dressed for the chilly morning. With temps in the 30's, I knew the only way to stay warm was to wear the wool socks and thermal leggings. A longsleeved undershirt was a must, too.

"You need a new mechanic," Hubby said when I returned to the kitchen.

"Really? You broke that one, too?" I could feel the anger churn. I'd been looking forward to this ride all week since I'd not been able to get a ride in because of all the "stuff": work, dentist appointments, more work. I'd had my heart set on riding Sweetness, but now, if I wanted to go,  I had to take "The Bette," my new mountain bike (yeah, I finally named the new one when I was rolling along, thinking about my mom, and it occurred to me that my new bike was beautiful and tough, just like my mom).

Because of the whole valve issue, I arrived at the starting point late. Very late. And still feeling the fluster of things going wrong. Thankfully, the guy handing out cue sheets had just started to pull away when I rolled up, so he stopped and asked if I was there for the ride. He handed me a cue sheet, saying there were maybe a dozen others who'd already started off. To me, knowing others were in front of me set up a challenge: could I catch them? I figured there was no way since I was on the mountain bike, so I set off hoping to just meet up with them in Mackinaw and have lunch.

I've found that I truly don't mind riding in any kind of weather these days, which is definitely one of the by-products of the summer ride. Rain, wind, cold, heat. The weather doesn't deter me from getting out. It used to. There were days before the summer ride when if it was raining I wouldn't cycle. If it was windy, I dreaded being on the bike. Today the WNW headwind registered at 14 mph when I left, adding to the chill of the morning. But I didn't think about the cold or the wind. I just rode. And the further I rode, the happier I became.

A couple of miles before reaching one of the small towns on the route, I came around a curve and saw another cyclist ahead of me. I was pleasantly surprised. Not long after passing him and after leaving the small town behind, I saw a group of cyclists beginning to climb one of the hills on the route. I caught up to them at the top and rode the rest of the way to Mackinaw with the group. At the restaurant, I ran into a couple of people I work with, so we had lunch then rode the return ride together, enjoying the wind at our backs for 20+ miles.

And to think that two broken valves almost kept me from riding.

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