Asked how he’ll do in the race, the Euro Pro says, “I have trained well, and the sensations are good.” I read this bland, stilted statement over and over and think about what it really means. I feel good. I feel good. I have trained well, and I feel good. Sensations is a good word though.
In the morning, as I wait for my riding companion, a cup of coffee perched next to me on the stone wall, the sun spreads slantingly up the street and warms my exposed arms and legs. This is the moment when the regret of leaving the bed’s horizontal comfort first lifts. It’s a good sensation.
We are on the road and off again as the morning traffic percolates to a boil. The grass is trying hard to overgrow the trails, its tall blades licking our shins with dew. They itch as they dry, the trail dropping away to slick dirt before us.
There is a rattle board effect you get riding skinny tires over New England roots. You have to modulate your grip, somewhere between death grasp and pianissimo. The end of the trail brings attention back to the state of hands, forearms and shoulders. I shake them out, back on the pavement.
We bob and twist from town to town, capering, linking up sections of neighborhood and odd patches of woods, until all around us the day is humming. Life is in full swing, and we need to wrap this adventure up. We cut across one last park, take the hill from the side, only turning into the steep of it at the very last second, then battle with it briefly, to breath’s end.
That feeling of finally cresting, pedals slackening, a first deep breath into your lungs, and then back in the garage, the basement, up the stairs to the shower, and the sensation of suddenly, sadly needing to be at work, this latter sweetening all the ones that came before, a dry wine to set off summer’s richest fruits.
This week’s Group Ride asks what your favorite sensations are on the bike? Do your prize the struggle? Or the finish? What are the high notes of that physical/emotional opera that plays out on the road or on the trail? And when was the last time you felt them?