Stolen Moments in the Sun

Is there a better way to spend a day off than riding a bike?  The answer is no, no there’s not.  When I ride on a holiday, I feel like I’m getting away with something.  I should be at work, but instead I’m out in the air, the sunshine glinting off my shifters and my legs propelling me along smooth, black asphalt strips of bliss.

On Monday, I showed a novice cyclist and her son a beautiful and mercifully flat trial that runs along the edge of Keswick Reservoir.  I love showing people trails they haven’t ridden before.  I especially love showing cycling newbies that they can ride farther than they ever have before.  I got to do both last Monday with friend and her son in tow on a trail a bike.

The day was simply gorgeous.  I pulled on tights and topped my jersey off with armwarmers and gloves, grateful to leave my jacket in the car.  The California sun sparkled off the water and I absorbed its rays and sucked in great breaths of fresh air.  For all my friends trapped in drifts of snow, here’s a little California sunshine from me to you.  Try to refrain from pressing your face up against the screen.

We rode along the old railroad track, now a smooth bike path.  We dipped into the cool darkness of the old train tunnel and yelped and hollered, letting our voices echo off the tunnel walls and bounce back to us.

The bike trail is cut from the side of mountains of rock and out of that rock scarlet flames of manzanita shoot forth.  Manzanita is such a resilient, hearty plant that I couldn’t help but stop for a moment and admire its beauty.

We rode to the backside of Shasta Dam, a sight that always takes my breath away, this mountain of concrete holding back the pulsing waters of Lake Shasta.

Image courtesy of

All told we rode 16 miles with the winter sun shining down on us.  As I pedaled toward the car I grinned, the cold winter air making my teeth hurt.  I couldn’t stop grinning because I knew with every fiber of my being how lucky I was to ride in winter in this stolen moment of beauty in the sun.