It recently occurred to me that one of the things I like best about cycling is what comes after I get off the bike.

The hot shower…looking at my numbers on the Garmin website…hydration of various kinds. All are part of my happy, slow-motion, post-ride routine.

Even as I’m recovering I’m anticipating:  putting my helmet, road I.D., gloves, glasses and computer on top of the drying rack to be ready for the next ride. As I toss used gel pouches and clean my bottles, I’m musing on familiar routes, spectacular days, and all the place I might go.

In the picture above I’m especially happy to be done with climbing 3200 feet in 30 miles through Crawford and Bear Notches in the White Mountains of NH.

I guess some days getting off the bike are better than others.

As I sit looking out the window at another one of today’s 13 rain squalls, the departure of Fall in Northern Minnesota seems imminent. There will be a few days of riding, but the cold and stiff pre-winter winds will come soon. But when I get off the bike for the last time this season I’ll still dream. The clothes will get put on the top shelf, the bike will be placed on the indoor trainer, and I’ll dream and scheme for next year.

That will be my afterward.


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