C wanted to ride. I didn’t, but I’ve learned not to say as much. J said he was in, and that started to feel like critical mass. B’s wife was against us getting together, even in the woods. He normally ignores that sort of guidance, but he begged off, which I took to mean there were actual marital consequences. I’ve learned not to say anything about that, too.
The time kept getting pushed back, and then suddenly we were need to charge lights. I love night riding, but I maintain a pretty early bedtime, so any enthusiasm I feel in the afternoon dwindles rapidly as sunset approaches.
I floated a trial balloon, suggesting we push to the morning, early, but C said, “I need to ride. My mental health depends on it,” and that’s more or less today’s trump card. I went to the basement and mounted lights.
We rolled out at 8pm, just to the local trails, a patch of dirt I know so well I could probably ride it without lights. J pointed out that, as rad as that might be, a trip to the hospital wasn’t maybe worth whatever ego boost came out the other side.
As we rode I warmed up, and started to flow. I stopped thinking about getting home and showered and in bed. C cracked jokes over my shoulder. And then we were just there, in the woods, riding our bikes. We took turns on the front, setting the pace. We navigated by committee. At the end, we pedaled home the hard way, rather than the quicker, easier way on the road, a sign that we’d had fun.
I am loose in my days now, walking with the kids and dog in the morning, sifting through some sort of educational content with them (even the dog), cooking and cleaning. I meet one friend to run in those same woods. I tinker with the bikes and spin them around the neighborhood. I can do anything, and mostly I’m pretty happy with that, despite the crisis looming over us all.
This week’s Group Ride asks, how are YOU doing? Are you riding more? And is it dispelling any of your anxiety? Have you been forbidden any rides with friends or larger groups? Or are you still working all day, remotely, and just fitting in whatever rides you can, as usual?