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spin... spin.. spin
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exhausted, not from physical effort but the sort that comes from emotional drain, a tube holding a fly-fishing rod is tossed on a bed that my mind longs for. in the corner a familiar friend stands majestic. gloss paint glistens under the soft glow of modern fluorescent bulbs. black bar tape has replaced the pink that i always insisted upon when i was younger. age has a way of fading marvellous frivolous things into much more somber tones. the saddle on my best of all friends makes me smile. how i always long for time there when activities pull me away. most people get exhausted from long days in the saddle or steep mountain climbs, i’m just the opposite, those days revive me. a gentle brush of top tube with my left hand as i place a coat neatly in its place in closet. being tidy is one of my better traits.

a glance at a clock, that once set on the family mantle of my grandfather’s home, tells me that there is a lack of time to complete an evening ride. recharging of the batteries will have to wait until first morning light.

with a chirp the iPhone in the rear pocket of the outdoor pants i am wearing tells me some one is seeking attention that may not be left in my tank of human interaction.

“Rachel, my darling. The time spent with you this week has meant the world to me! Watching your hands work fly-rod and line makes an old man feel like a giggling school boy again. Thank you for being the wonderful perfection that is you”, reads the as always well penned text from my father. i too loved the week we spent fishing together. but my energy is yet still faded and all i can muster for a reply is, “love you”. he won’t mind nor be surprised. my dad understands that a week without silent solitude is a lot for me.

morning light shakes me from my dreams and brings me back to reality. beside me on the bed rests fly-rod safely in it’s case. my mind slightly refreshed, begins wondering through the events, rivers and then settles on the trout.

IMG_1607706047.072005.jpg


as pedals begin to spin, i smile wide. as great as whipping a fly-line overhead beside the most amazing man i know is, i am truly most at home on a bicycle. miles of tarmac pass with ease beneath rubber. to my own surprise mile twenty ticks on the Garmin fastened to handlebars. a block more and a cobbled driveway leads winding up a hillside to a home with nearly full glass front, built to allow stunning redrock views. with a click shoe disengages from pedal. just as a garage door opens revealing a meticulously clean parking area and landcruiser from many decades ago with paint that looks so fresh it is a wonder it isn’t dripping on the spotless floor.

stepping out of cycling shoes damp socks allow the cold feel of stone flooring. without words my mother kisses my forehead and hands me a fresh cup of espresso. a hallway leads to study where fly-tying gear is in one corner and crammed bookshelves the other. without looking up from his work a tall fit man says, “did not expect to see you so soon!”

“dad, thanks for taking me fishing. hope you know how grateful i am for all you do”

“i do now. rache, thanks for being you.”

a leather chair welcomes me. for a few hours i listen to my father tell the stories of adventures past. he speaks of politics and even religion. i say little as always but give him my full attention. i eat lunch with my parents, mom asking about our week of adventure. dad gives the full account while i add little moments of detail.

back on the bike, it occurs to me that sometimes it’s not where you are going that makes bicycles amazing but instead their ability to help one appreciate where you have been.





short version is, i rode to see my parents today.
 

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Two skinny J's
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^ Me too!
 

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I rode but not the metric i had planned.

Days in advance, I had been talking about doing a ride on Friday when the weather is nice.

When I rushed in the door from a short morning of work and grabbing at my cycling things, my oldest son asked if I’d go camping with him & his brother tonight.

I explained that i planned to ride and asked if we could wait until tomorrow night. He said, and i quote “it’s only going to be 50° tonight. Tomorrow night it's supposed to be in the low 40s.

Not wanting to be one of those dads that are too busy for their family, I agree to alter my plans and take a short ride (24 miles).

We got up here just in time for sunset. Stunningly beautiful.

It's not 50°!!
Shoot, it's not even in the 40°s and the wind is howling. There are patches of snow all around. Little puddles of water have turned to ice since we arrived. It's too windy for a fire. We tried. Had to put it out because of blowing red ashes. To keep from blowing off the mountain, we had to move the tent between two boulders. It helped some but not much

But we're laughing and having a ball.

We're on top of Spruce Knob. At 4,862 feet, it's the highest peak in WV.

I was just a smidge bummed about missing my longer ride as I hopped on my bike earlier, but once we departed for this adventure, those feelings disappeared.
I've been blessed with awesome children.
 

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Two skinny J's
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25 beautiful outside miles today. It felt amazingly good to be back outside and ride after a week in the 20's and 30's here! That sh!t can go away and stay away for EVA, don't need no mo of dat. Almost 70 today and tomorrow, that's much more like it :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17,349
I rode but not what I wanted. I think it was the first time I did a ride after eating an omelette for breakfast along with some strong coffee. Right about mile 12, I started getting heartburn and it lasted until we got back to the van. Took two antacids but that didn't do much. Was going to try for another 5 miles but just couldn't do it. Ended up with a 26 mile ride with Frankie.
 

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I rode but not the metric i had planned.

Days in advance, I had been talking about doing a ride on Friday when the weather is nice.

When I rushed in the door from a short morning of work and grabbing at my cycling things, my oldest son asked if I’d go camping with him & his brother tonight.

I explained that i planned to ride and asked if we could wait until tomorrow night. He said, and i quote “it’s only going to be 50° tonight. Tomorrow night it's supposed to be in the low 40s.

Not wanting to be one of those dads that are too busy for their family, I agree to alter my plans and take a short ride (24 miles).

We got up here just in time for sunset. Stunningly beautiful.

It's not 50°!!
Shoot, it's not even in the 40°s and the wind is howling. There are patches of snow all around. Little puddles of water have turned to ice since we arrived. It's too windy for a fire. We tried. Had to put it out because of blowing red ashes. To keep from blowing off the mountain, we had to move the tent between two boulders. It helped some but not much

But we're laughing and having a ball.

We're on top of Spruce Knob. At 4,862 feet, it's the highest peak in WV.

I was just a smidge bummed about missing my longer ride as I hopped on my bike earlier, but once we departed for this adventure, those feelings disappeared.
I've been blessed with awesome children.
The next morning:

IMG_9660.jpg


The frozen lake
IMG_9630.jpg


IMG_9626.jpg
 

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Two skinny J's
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It was a beautiful Florida morning and I was set to do a really nice solo ride. Unfortunately, the tiredness hit and I ended up with 25 miles. I’m over this constant tiredness.
Youngins would tell you all you need is a lil Bang :D
VPXBang_fullwidth.jpg
 

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Two skinny J's
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Two skinny J's
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21,193 Posts

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Old, fat, and slow
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I haven't ridden my bike in so long I feel embarrassed to identify as a "cyclist." I did just over 100 miles in November and maybe 20 this month. I have put more miles on my (previously totally unused) car in two weeks than miles on my bike all year.

Part of it is multiple (and ongoing) dentist appointments, part is struggling to secure a job, part of it is frigid weather, and part of it is the extra 15 pounds I gained form not riding and stressing. Part of it is inertia. All of it sucks.

I am ashamed to go into my garage and see my wall of bikes, gathering dust.

I didn't mind the CCP virus, losing jobs and income, shut-downs, masks, ..... but this is too much. No riding? Now, finally, I have joined the herd. I hate 2020.

Maybe I will get one last stiletto-thrust into the evil heart of the year and ride tomorrow. Maybe I will get one or two more days free before year's end ... and maybe the weather won't suck. Maybe aliens will kidnap me .... odds seem about the same for all of the above.

Glad to hear about every mile you guys ride .... and whenever I get really deep in self-pity, i think about Mr. Newleaf and his positive attitude, and LongJohn, and John_V, who have serious issues and overcome them ....

Whatever. /Whine off. Maybe I will at least get to ride to the store today. A few miles is better than none.
 

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Discussion Starter #17,360
First ride since last Sunday. Had a few morning doctors appointments and the weather has been really crappy. This morning the temps were decent; in the high 50s and then in the low 60s by 10:00am. That's when Frankie showed up. When he got out of his Jeep, I thought we were going on a polar expedition rather than a bike ride. I should have taken a photo and posted it.

Anyway, I was feeling really rested so I shot for a 40 mile ride. Didn't want to push myself in fear that I would tire out so it was an easy, enjoyable ride. Seems like that's all I've been doing lately. Modified the last 15 miles so that it was in a 10 and 5 mile segment rather than a 15 mile segment, just in case I would start to tire out. Ended up with doing my goal for the day. :D
 
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