While the rest of the country is waist deep in snow, Northern California is doling out a premature dose of Spring. And what’s a girl to do with all this sunshine and temperatures dawdling in the 70’s? You know what I’m going to say next, right? I can barely even stand it. I’m itching with giddiness as I type my answer.
RIDE MY BIKE! RIDE MY BIKE! RIDE MY BIKE! RIDE MY BIKE!
I haven’t been out on The Rocket nearly enough the past few weeks and so when That Laura suggested we go for a bike ride while everyone else watched football, I was all over it. There is a new piece of the river trail that leads up to Shasta Dam and I’ve been salivating over it.
I pulled on a short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, and snapped on some Spandex. I peeled my toe warmers off my shoes and didn’t even give my tights or full fingered gloves a second glance. There just aren’t words for what a delight it was to wear my warm weather cycling gear in February. It was a fantastic!
We rode past the Sundial Bridge and along the Sacramento River, giggling and burbling next to us. Families were out en masse walking their dogs, skateboarding, and teaching itty bitty ones to ride their bikes.
Laura and I rode past Keswick Dam and climbed right next to Keswick Reservoir. It’s a decent climb and my legs felt every pedal stroke. In fact, my legs started aching at mile 15 and didn’t stop until I pulled in my driveway at mile 36.
But my heart, oh my heart, was strong and my mind was set. I would not cut my ride short and I would not, absolutely would not, get off and walk.
As I rode, I couldn’t get over the glorious day that fell in my lap. (Yes, I know this post is full of superlatives. Frankly, it’s all I can do to keep from writing the entire post in CAPS LOCK.) Every turn of the trail had something new and beautiful to distract me from my miserable legs.
The piercing white Sundial Bridge against the blue sky. The hum of Keswick Dam. The trees mirrored in the water. The blushing manzanita bushes. The backside of Shasta Dam towering above us. I breathed it all in.
As the sun dropped closer to the mountains, we turned back home. In the shower, I scrubbed the salt marks from my face and massaged my thighs. They were quivering and already threatening to tighten up. The hot water pounded my muscles, drummed on my aching knees. And as I stood there leaning up against the shower wall, I smiled.
Because sometimes being a cyclist hurts so good.