What is the feeling? Two lights blazing onto the packed sand, trees zipping past, close enough to touch, every bump throwing shadows off into the scrub, and two riders behind me, surging into their own cones of light. I didn’t expect to be going this fast, but there is something happening, something alchemical.
This is just one of the feelings I’m after when I roll out. Sometimes I don’t even know which one I’m looking for. I’m just hoping to come across one of them, out their somewhere, at the nexus of chance and effort.
I am easing off the pedals, letting my friends catch up. This is less charitable than it sounds. I’m burning too many matches too soon. I’m excited. The night is just cool enough. There is no one else out on these trails. I’m a kid.
It’s a matrix of sorts, not just one thing. I’m living in the thrilling moment of speeding into a narrow channel of perfect summer. I’m also with friends. There is a multiplier. I’m feeling the heady power of fitness combined with the intoxication of escape, from responsibility, from civilization, from myself. The fun is type 1, type 2…is there a type 3?
To get home, we climb the long hill to the water tower. It is sobering. It feels good to strain against the pedals, to look at each other and gauge what’s happened, what mark did it leave, how much does any of us still have in the tank?
This week’s Group Ride asks, what feeling are you looking for most when you leave on a ride? Is it simple? Or complicated? How often does it vary? How often do you even know?