Monday, April 25, 2011

There's An Achin in My Heart Called Summer

Barrel cactus rest stop (Bip: no suspension, skinny hard tires. Rock rocking ride)

There's an achin in my heart called summer. At certain moments, the years pile up. At certain moments, I am struck by the deep feeling that huge chunks of time have passed, families of friends and acquaintances have grown and started families of their own, graduated, gotten married, procreated, in some cases lived and died. Thoughts drift back, way back, to long-ago summer nights, songs on the radio, connections and diversions. A collection of small things, and momentous moments, all past. This can feel like a weight, if you know what I mean. For me, what's called for at moments like that is a good hard ride. I pointed Bip at the mountains, and we rode. Theme song for the day: Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.  

When your bike is called "Singletrack" you have a certain obligation

It was Easter Sunday afternoon, and the roads, paths, and trails were quiet. I actually had Trail 100 all to myself for a long time. I felt in very good shape, riding up and down the rocky hills was incredibly fun. Since I combined the trail ride with a ride to and from the trail, ride to the ride, it was a good three hours or so out spinning. But the Spring weather felt too good. What I mean by that is, the temperature and the breezes were perfect, so this ride, despite the distance, the rocks, the big ring and all, didn't quite take it all out of me like I wanted it too. It didn't quite banish the achin in my heart like a 110F summer ride on the same trail does. Those are the rides that empty me and fill me. Blastin down these rocky hills when the summer comes along is what quiets those old stories down.

I'll be back my tasty track, when the summer comes along

When I was done with the mountains, I tried to burn off the rest of the ache on the city streets that roll down hill from the mountain, fast as I could go. Dreamy Draw Drive runs downhill from the rusty foot bridge down to Glendale Ave. Before that, the foot path from the pedestrian bridge over the 51 freeway runs downhill to the rusty foot bridge. I pedaled both as fast as I could, trying to burn off that ache, bending low to beat the wind, spinning like mad. Like mad. But it turns out I need the assistance of the summer heat to really complete the job. So there's still kind of an achin in my heart, called summer. The heat, my beloved burning summer, will be here soon, another month or so. Until then, more riding hard, more listening to old songs. Get up. Go ride.



  1. Looks like a fun ride. I never wish for hot weather, I tolerate it, but I don't like it. If you are looking for total exhaustion, maybe ride longer?

  2. I know that ache. It brings a sadness I don't like feeling.

  3. I don't think I've ever ridden in temperatures over 107F so I can only imagine what 110 is like...

  4. lovely post. burning off some aches myself lately. though rather than tamping those stories down, I tend to let em well up. stories calm me. stories help me carve a narrative out of the chaos.

  5. That's some honking cactus right there!

  6. Apertome, I think it has more to do with the feeling of getting overheated and slightly dehydrated, which is another way of saying, achieving a working equilibrium with the heat, then maintaining it for miles.

    JK, I've heard that running up and down stairs helps.

    Steve, it's a dry heat, and it is amazing what your body can cool down from when dry wind is sucking the water out of you fast.

    Clowncar, I treasure the stories too, right up to the point that they start to get a little to pushy, and no amount of "let the stories tell themselves" will quiet them.

    limom, honking cactus: we have them.


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