My Favorite Tree

Today was my first bike ride of 2009.  I’m a little nervous about this cycling season.  Although I am part of the Fat Cyclist team, I don’t have a local team to speak of.

The bad thing about that is nobody will be setting up routes for me, telling me where to show up, and making sure I get my miles in.  The good thing is nobody will be setting up routes for me, telling me where to show up, and making sure I get my miles in.  I am my own woman, responsible for all of my training.  Ok, I’m not quite convinced it’s a good thing yet, but I’m trying to see it as an opportunity for growth.  The other good thing about going solo is that I can just tell my cycling friends when and where I’m riding and they’re likely to show up.

Today I rode in the good company of my hubby, Sir Steve (the bike mechanic), Nick (the captain of the CJD team), my friend Marie, and That Laura.  I piled on layers and layers of spandex and set out to face the unforgiving wind.  It was blowing to the South, which was fantastic when I was cruising South, but otherwise meant I was caught in a nasty crosswind or, even worse, a punishing headwind.  We rode out to Palo Cedro and Millville to my very favorite place to ride, Millville Plains.

Millville Plains is always beautiful.  It’s sweeping views and natural landscape leave me awestruck.  Today was particularly stunning.  The edges of snowcapped Lassen were razor-sharp against the blue sky.  As the wind pushed at my back, I watched the waves of grass and weeds roll like the ocean.  And of course there is my favorite tree.

It’s an oak tree, I think, and it stands all alone watching guard over the plains.  Maybe at some point in your life you’ve been asked that inane question, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”  Hands down, I’d be that one.

As I rode home with the wind blowing dirt onto my teeth and pushing The Rocket around like a kite, I thought of my favorite tree.  It is unmoved by wind.  It is impervious to cold.  It is unfazed by the scorching summers.  It girds strength from roots, pushed deep beneath the plains.  This season I will be like my tree, mustering strength from deep down.  I will stand guard against cancer.  Although I am without a local team, I am not alone.  I am surrounded by friends who stand with me.

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