I'm sitting here on a Sunday night, reflecting on Saturday's activities and thought I'd pass it on.
Saturday started with the idea of driving down to Pueblo and riding at the State Park. That is a fun time but I have been recovering from a pretty nasty cold-like virus and didn't want to get there only to feel bad and have less fun. Plan B was to ride with Cindy (my wife) around Garden of the Gods and then part ways with her and just pedal around, trying to remember how after so much time on the sofa.
Thus, the inspiration for this post was born. After riding a few laps in the Garden with Cindy, I headed into Manitou to visit and drink from the 7 Minute Spring (the sacred place of our wedding almost 16 years ago!). After that, I made my way towards the Norris Penrose Events Center to visit the Bike show. On the way, I decided to detour up 26th street to Gold Camp road. I stumbled on a Pikes Peak Velo group ride and shadowed them for a while and chatted with an older gentleman who was rapidly getting dropped. He was so nice and really seemed to enjoy the ride despite being dropped by his much younger team-mates. I rolled past the other riders as they were stopped to wait for him. Continuing on the climb I saw several more cyclists and others headed towards the hills for various reasons. There sure are many ways to enjoy being outdoors in Colorado Springs on an early spring day.
Soon, I was turning around at the point where Gold Camp Road turns to dirt and coasting back down into the city. Got to the bike show and surprise, they had valet bike parking. Pure class! I saw many friends, old and new and even a former in-law (although he will always be my 'bro!). The legs were beginning to stiffen up, so I figured it was time to bail on the bike show. I wanted to get some more ride time so I headed south and then dropped back into downtown Colorado Springs, riding close to cars and pretending I was a NYC bike messenger.
It was about this time I started having deja vu feelings. When I was younger, I was always training to be a bike racer and I lived on my bike. I did rides like this all of the time and thought nothing of it. Now that I'm older, I am seeing the streets and trails from a different perspective. I found myself noticing more about the homes, the other cyclists, the huge potholes all over the streets and the traffic. It's kind of hard to explain the feeling of viewing the world from the seat of a bicycle, especially to people who's cycling experiences ended when they got a driver's license. For some reason on Saturday I was a teenager on a BMX bike, a twenty-something on a mountain bike, a thirty-something on a beach cruiser and a forty-something on a road bike.
All of those experiences added up to the indescribably unique feeling I got on a simple road bike ride around town. Pretty cool day.
Go ride your bike. Take the back roads and bike paths. Don't sweat the stop signs or lights. Stop and drink some spring water. Talk to people along the way. You never know what you are missing if you don't.