It was a touch cold to start, but I like it cold. This robot runs firmly on the hot side. We met up at the crack of the crack and rolled out in a Westerly direction as we always do, eventually reaching the more rural bits of the metro-burbs. The places where the farm houses have been gutted and the interior replaced by mansion, where the sweet tang of cow shit hangs in the air and the breeze has room to blow.
Our group ride is of a more casual nature. We start slowly. We chat. We chat more. Occasionally a pace line breaks out, but that’s usually just when we’ve run out of things to talk about.
Because we leave early, we get to watch the day bloom. The sun warms the verges of the road. The volume on humanity increases slowly, tolerably.
It is entirely mundane, entirely accidental, and yet also something of a dream ride. When I think of what I love about cycling, it’s all there: friends, scenery, sun, distance, adventure, comedy, speed. I am, there in the saddle, wholly at my ease.
This week’s Group Ride asks about your dream ride. What is it? Does it include Alps? Does it run down the coastline? Who is there? What time of year? What can you smell? How does it feel?
Make like the Staples Singers and take us there.
I’m in the middle of nowhere, a landscape very reminiscent of California’s Central Valley, driving my car with the stereo turned up, deep in my own thoughts and not looking at instrument panel when I notice I’ve missed a turn I’m supposed to take. I double back, make my turn and start to accelerate, but nothing happens.
The car will still drive but won’t do more than about 20 mph. I pull over to figure out what to do about my car. I’m in a casino. The phone rings. It’s a reader who ordered special RKP-embroidered boxers. I recall his name and tell him I mailed them out before departing for a trip.
And in this dream, I have business partners. One is the son of an old industry friend. As it turns out, the reader who is calling me is standing next to me in the elevator and is flabbergasted to meet me. We both marvel at the coincidence of location.
The meeting takes moments. Nothing is decided. Everyone leaves.
I’m left to drive away from the middle of nowhere in a car stuck in first gear.