The Bikin' Fools


Jail Break


Tone called about 9:00 Friday evening; "Hey Eric, wanna go riding tomorrow?" His voice indicated that he would be needing a detox run.

"Sure," I replied, "It looks like there will be a nice break in the weather tomorrow. It was left at that. I went to bed under thin clouds and cold temperatures. Certainly it would be nice in the morning...

At 4:00 I awaked just enough to notice the pitter patter of raindrops. I went back to sleep and awakened again at eight. It was steady rain and no word from Tone. I lazed around for an hour and a half then finally called Tony.

"Yo, Tone, let’s go for a ride."

"It’s raining," He said, "But I’m down."

"OK, see you soon." I said and hung up.

As I started to get ready, I discovered issues with my bike. It took a while, but I was able to get the thing to work well enough for the short ride that we had planned. By the time I got to Tony’s, it was approaching noon. He threw on his gear and we headed out into the rain.

I can’t recall a winter that has had so much overcast. It has been cool and wet. So much so that those sensitive to light depravation are starting to falter. It becomes difficult to maintain the joy and abandon of living when the mood is dark and dreary. Some people are able to power through such times with an organic connection with the rain and wet. It is a fertile and refreshing time of year. The water brings fresh new life, cleans out all the gullies and makes the earth lush with greenery. Yet, many find they need occasional sunshine to maintain contact with happiness.

The combination of the holidays with emphasis on overeating, the short days and the tendency to hibernate create a resistance to riding that one must overcome. Like so much else in this life, it is the beginning that is hard. Once the first step is taken, then the event becomes another mini-journey. It has a beginning, drama and an end. Once started, the adventure unfolds by itself. It is the starting that is hard. Therein lies the rub. The actual event is not so difficult at all. But to look out the window, see awfully funky conditions and still find the gumption to go out there is the secret. Weather separates the dedicated from the casual biker.

As Tone and I headed up the hill, we were certain that we would see no one on the trail on such a stormy day. We were wrong. We passed two hikers and another mt. biker. Each person was animated, energized, and appeared to be happy to be outside in the rain. It was not very cold. The water pelted down with gusto. Without raingear, the moisture didn’t take long to get to the skin. It was sort of a race to see if the water would soak us before we got warmed from the exercise. It worked out fine for me, I became wet about twenty minutes into the ride. That is the time it takes to break into a good sweat on sunny days.

The rollers ride takes only about an hour. The downhill part is worth the effort. The trail is in excellent shape. The moisture makes the surface predictable and easy to ride. The hill is steep with several tricky spots. It provides just enough adrenaline to augment the endorphins earned in the climb. One does not notice the coolness, or a chill setting in until the bottom. Then when the action settles down, one might notice the wetness and start thinking about a nice hot shower. At that point it is only ten minutes of riding on pavement to get home.

It is strange how our perceptions change with slight variables, such as the weather. The wet weather can tend to create lethargy in some, but the rewards for shedding the constraints of the grayness are great and worthwhile.

It is supposed to rain again tomorrow.