Scabby shins, helmet hair, farmer’s tan lines, bruises of forgotten origin, deeply satisfying exhaustion, well-deserved hunger, and a profound appreciation of a nap, these are the side effects of a bike ride that a ten-year old rarely considers. What registers with a youngster’s consciousness (and I’m using the term youngster figuratively here) when she swings a leg over her steed is a euphoric sense of freedom, a visceral joy of the physical body and the anticipation of sights, to be seen, smelled and heard at a pace determined by her own legs. It’s said that there’s no pleasure without pain and cycling illustrates that in spades. Grinding in a tediously slow, low gear up a hill, is rewarded by a wind in the face descent that gives you the sense of a conquering Mongol, galloping her pony across the plain.
This time of year, the hills are green and carpeted in wildflowers. Cool, sunny days are made for outdoor activities. Knowing I should be home pulling weeds and preparing the garden for spring planting, makes escaping to the trails all the more delicious.