Does anything beat a ride with a friend? Really, it’s sort of a sure-fire recipe for velophoria.
I rode over to J’s house today to pick him up, and we headed up into the hills north of Amherst. I told myself I’d keep it low-key today, but riding with friends makes all limits seem to go out the window roughly five minutes after roll-out. We jammed the hills (wheezing in harmony – hey, it’s base season, no worries!) and did a little two-man pacelining on the way back, during the flat-to-rolling stuff back into Amherst. Then we peeled off on a side road and put the hurtin’ on ourselves one last time on a couple short but steep hills close to J’s house. “Pain… good…” I dropped him off and headed for home.
I took the long way back, getting in a few more long, steady grades because I was feeling so good (except for my !@#$ knee, which I decided to ignore for once, because the rest of me was enjoying myself too much to worry about consequences today). Man, I should have eaten a little more on the road. I just about ran out of gas on that last long grade into town. Rolled into the driveway tired, but oh, so happy. My unbeatable wife was working on our new Christmas stockings, cheery as could be, and little birds of every stripe were flitting around the bird-seed bell on our back deck. Life… is… good.
J is one of my favorite riding partners, because when we’re doing base-pace, we can chat forever about anything from politics to nutrition to kings and cabbages, etc. However, when I feel like putting the hammer down, he sort of picks that up right away, and without a word, one of us drops in behind, and off we zing, down the road. I’ve read about people who have riding partners like that, and I always wanted one. Now I have one! I only wish he could get away a little more often – he has a ton of responsibilities. He really should try being a little more selfish and immature, like me. (No, seriously, it keeps you young.)
It was that kind of metallic-smelling cold out today that telegraphed tomorrow’s snow storm, and the wind was rough at times. Still, it was sunny much of the time, so we occasionally got that toasty feeling on our lower backs. Mmmm. Makes the quads go harder!
I’ll bet you one thing: If you didn’t ride today, you’re feeling really jealous right now. You should – we had a blast.