Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day 1 Summer Ride

I left out early this morning, around 6, to begin my summer of riding central Illinois for Bike the US for MS. I love being out before most people have roused from sleep. The streets are empty, making cycling Main and other higher traffic streets a breeze. From the driveway to the other side of town, about 5 miles, I didn't have one car pass me from behind, and only a couple passed from the opposite direction. Riding is extra sweet when few cars are on the road.

Today's route took me northeast, to the small town of Fairbury. According to my map, the distance from the driveway to the center of Fairbury was around 35 miles. The sun was shining. Them temp around 65. The wind was at my back. While I knew I was getting a lot of help from the wind going out, and I would be fighting it on the way back, I couldn't help but simply enjoy rolling along. For the time being, conditions for cycling were perfect.

Almost as soon as I started out, my thoughts turned to my mom. Two years ago today, I started out of Yorktown, no sooner having begun the first day of cycling that I couldn't keep the tears from falling. Today, the tears didn't fall. Today, I thought about hearing from my cousin just yesterday and her sharing a memory she has of my mom before I was born, before she had even married my dad. The memory was of a saddle my mom had, one that my cousin's family stored for her in their attic. My cousin said she remembers the leather, the smell of it, and how she was fascinated with the saddle. I loved hearing this. I imagine a saddle on a saddle stand in an attic, and a small girl going into the attic just to smell the leather, to run her hands over the cantle and the pommel. Perhaps the little girl even sits on the saddle to daydream about riding a horse. My mom loved horses, especially her sorrel mustang, Brandy. Hearing about this memory gave me something I'd not known before directly connected to my mom, and because of this, going out today, doing what I'm doing in her memory and for all those with MS, I only felt happiness.

Old Route 66
These thoughts and lots of others floated around in my head during my ride today. Cycling long distance definitely gives me the opportunity to just mull things over. Sometimes the thoughts are happy, other times not so much, but no matter what kind of thoughts I'm pondering, I certainly have the time to work through them. Which I did with one thought in particular today. I reached the point of saying aloud, out in the middle of nowhere, "Time to put it to rest." And it wasn't until just now, typing this, that I came back to that thought since telling myself it was time to let it go.

My face the last 15 miles
The ride back from Fairbury was tough, especially the last 15 miles. Having a 15 mph wind in my face for much of the return was tiring. I reached the point of simply focusing on five mile increments. The moment I could see the subdivision at the edge of town I sighed. I knew I was almost done. Though I still had 5 miles through town to get to home, I wouldn't have to battle the wind like I had out in the country. My discomfort for the day was ending.

Tomorrow the forecast is thunderstorms with 19 mph winds out of the southwest. I had initially planned to go east, but I'm going to switch to a more southerly route. I'd much rather ride into the wind for the first half of the ride, as there's nothing more delicious when cycling than the moment of turning around and having the wind at your back.


J said...

I'm glad you came to the place where you're ready to let go. *hugs*

JK said...

Thanks, J. I figure holding onto something negative, letting the anger eat at me, is akin to allowing poison to simmer in my soul. I don't want this.