You can learn a lot from a governess who also happens to moonlight as a nun.
When the dog chases you and gets a bit of skin…when a bee flies straight into you and stings: I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad. [Oscar Hammerstein II]
I’m reminded of a photo I saw recently of a pace line pulling into the wind. The lead rider has her finger pointed at her head, tongue sticking out the side of her mouth, thumb cocked and ready to fire. Talk about memorable. Next time I’m in that situation, I’ll simply remember: AND THEN I WON’T FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL SO BAD.
No one who’s put in serious time on the bike will tell you cycling is only about physical strength. The deeper question is, how do we get the strength to keep going when our bodies tire? Inspiration leads us to dig deeper, to find a little bit more, to find something special. I don’t pretend to understand it…why it comes on some days, and is absent on others. I do know it’s a game changer, and that we invite it by remembering what we love about the ride.
A FEW MORE FAVORITE THINGS
Rolling out full of anticipation: making yourself warm-up even though you want to hammer
Pushing through the top of the pedal stroke, the warmth of sun soaking into your back
Cresting a hill and catching a cooling breeze…A sip of ice cold water and a splash on the back of the neck
Hucking a banana peel with panache
Shady country roads and blue skies you can get lost in
Rising out of the saddle without missing a beat
Pulling solo into a stiff wind and finally arriving at your turn-around
The feel of clipping in with new cleats
Fresh bar tape
Collecting your thoughts and assuming THE POSITION before beginning a long, fast alpine descent…and spinning out your highest gear
Freshly shaved legs and sharp kit
Coming to the top of your first HC climb
The hum of the drivetrain and the feeling of being stretched out over the bike – knowing you could go like this for hours
Chasing home just as the first raindrops make polka dots on the pavement
The post-ride double espresso