It happens each season when the weatherman taps you to remind that this is the week. For me it was last Tuesday. Until then and for as long as I can remember, for as long as I want to remember, it was a pair of bibs and a jersey.
The thermals were easy to find. Hanging dutifully in a corner of the basement, they were next to the box marked “everything else.” The gloves, the arm-warmers, the base layers. All the armor one needs to fen off the elements.
By Wednesday my wardrobe changed into one I expect to wear until the snow flies. That’s when I no longer ride outside, and my walking routine commences. I’ve always walked rather than ride indoors. I need the fresh air.
This was also the week I (finally) accepted my present, one without races but – more importantly – one in which I’m no longer a racer. I knew last October that I was done with lining up. I began to embrace it these past few days.
All my life (so far) I’ve lived with, lived for, learned on, and profited from the weekends. These were when I played bicycle racing. I fell into my sport’s net as a teenager and spent my adulthood happily entangled. This no more.
I’ve been on my bicycle more in 2020 than any season since the last century. Perhaps at a slower pace, much of it. With the chain on those once seldom used cogs nearer to the hub. That’s where my comfort zone is now.
All This By Hand