Sunday, February 19, 2006
I don't just love my bike. I am in love with my bike. Seriously. I would marry it if I could. We could register at a bike shop and fill the gift list with things like tires and water bottles and cute little spandex outfits. We could spend our honeymoon cycling through France and live happily ever after until rust do us part.
My bike is the closest thing I have to a boyfriend these days. We even sleep together. Not in the same bed (that would be greasy and awkward). But I keep my bike in my bedroom. It's the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I see before I fall asleep at night.
But I've been neglecting my bike lately. Spiders were spinning cobwebs between the spokes. It had been a long time since our relationship was filled with passion and excitement. So when the Weather Network predicted perfect conditions yesterday -- blue skies, warm sunshine, dry roads -- I called up my friend Donna and said, "Let's ride!"
It had been almost four months since I'd gone on a real bike ride (cycling to work on my commuter bike doesn't count because it's only five kilometres and I ride slow enough to avoid working up a sweat).
Saturday's ride was amazing. I haven't experienced such ecstasy on the seat of a bicycle since our ride up Mount Baker last year when I wrote, "I realized this -- the open road, the stunning mountains, a day spent with friends -- was pretty close to bliss."
Have I mentioned how much I love my bike? Sometimes, when I'm riding it, it's hard to know where I end and the bike begins. It's that smooth. Changing gears is like slicing a hot knife through soft butter. The frame absorbs every bump on the road. My other bike is so harsh it feels like my teeth are about to rattle right out of their sockets.
We ended up riding 100 kilometres yesterday (well, technically we rode 98 km but I circled the block when I got home until the number on my odometer clicked to 100 km. Yes, I am obsessive like that.). The weird thing is that I felt great the entire ride. I remember looking down at my odometer at 90 kilometres and thinking, "Shouldn't I be tired by now?" But I wasn't. I didn't even have any discomfort in the [ahem] crotch region.
It was a perfect day, filled with all of those little things that mark the start of spring. The smell of coconut-scented sunblock mixed with salty ocean air. The dappled shade created by the blossoming cherry trees. The touch of warm sun on bare skin.
It doesn't get much better than this.