It Starts Like This
It starts as an easy spin on a Saturday afternoon, with clouds. Then: crack of lightning, peal of thunder, patter of rain, and the mood starts to turn. Things are pretty sedate, but something is brewing.
Rollin With Milk Crate
I even ran into my old EZ floatin friend, Duck Dawkins, out floatin' his groove thang.
Duck Dawkins Rides Again. Hi Old Friend!
And then the winds begin to pick up, straight at me, and the rain begins pelting down. And a transformation occurs, with some deep-seated, ancient biochemical mechanism triggered by water in my face, the sizzle of ozone in the air: I transform into Crankasaurus Rex.
I start spinning a 100+ rpm cadence, my 700x30 slightly knobby tires sing on the asphalt path. I wish that the single speed had a little higher gear, but to spin faster means to go faster. High spinning, try not to bounce, smooth it out, bend a little lower. Wind at my back helps a lot, too. I reserve enough phlogiston in the tank for the one mile stretch of gravel at the end that I call the Dad Memorial Sprint: pedal slow across the spillway, breathe deep and slow for what's about to come, then open up and push with everything for one mile, VO2 max and beyond, I'm feeling my living heart pounding in my chest, push all the way through to the end. If I can stay upright I question my level of commitment. I make it, and coast to the stoplight, breathing heavy, feeling great.
After crushing an all-out sprint like that, I feel like doing more, something like the ride that MtBikeAZ wrote about recently, the WestSoMo loop that includes a dream trail called Alta. That's definitely not a ride that rational John Romeo Alpha would normally attempt; it's way way way over my head. But it may not be over the head of Crankasaurus Rex. And it may storm tomorrow, awakening him again. Get up. Go ride.