It's been at least that long since I've been able to ride outside, what with the holiday travel and the nasty weather in Massachusetts. I've been like some ancient salt forced to live in Kansas or Nebraska. Broad vistas of pleasant seas and sunny skies fill his dreams at night. Daily he wakes to an unremitting funk. Nothing terribly wrong. Just not quite... right.
Friel warned me about it. Carmicheal warned me about it. Even I warned me about it: Roller burnout. And it's only January!
This morning, though I slept poorly last night and the temps were in the teens when I awoke, I was determined to get out for a ride before work. It might have been my last chance for the week, since we're expecting a messy winter storm tonight.
Despite the ill tidings and exhaustion, despite the time away from the road, I had a lovely ride.
The small mountains near our home hovered on the horizon, the farm fields stretched away on all sides in an eternity of frozen white silence. It was sere, icy, forbidding -- in other words, beautiful. I had sun (or at least brightness) for most of the hour and a half I was out there. And best of all, the iPod, on Shuffle mode, kept dishing up the very best of the deep recesses of my music collection, stuff I love and hadn't heard for a while. Sometimes it seems my iPod is determined to bore me; even on Shuffle, it seems to go through the same old tunes and artists. Not today; today was sing-along day. Good tunes always get me moving on the bike.
True, two-plus weeks off the road have taken much of the oomph out of my legs. The "same old" hills brought rude awakenings. But I got a good workout in (right on target for my periodized plan), got fresh, icy air on my face, got genuine daylight in my eyes, and covered some ground. Best of all, no significant knee issues today. I rode like I wanted to.
Once home, face flush, warmed from the inside by a steaming flagon of hot chocolate, I felt rich, new, ready for the day.
Velophoria is why I ride. It only happens once in a while, and I can't plan it. I am grateful when it catches me. I'm grateful today.