Tomorrow morning I will get up around 6am, put on sunscreen, get dressed and pack, all while sitting cross legged in a 8’x4’x3’ tent. I’ll then get out of said tent, pack it up, haul my bags to the truck, and only then will I be able to relax. The route guide says I will be riding 62 miles, climbing 2,600’, and 19 miles of this will be on gravel. Yep, this will be relaxing for me.
Tomorrow morning I will be able to just get on my bike and ride. There are no more lists to create. There are no more people to chase down. There will be nothing left to wonder, “Did I remember…?” No one will care if I ride fast or slow. No one will care if I stop in every town or if I stop in none of them. There will be virtually no cell coverage so the phone won’t ring nor will text messages buzz. I can listen to music or not. I can eat junk food or not. I can jump in a pond or not.
I am so lucky.
I’m physically able to ride this week. I can afford it. I have a wife that pushed me to go even though she hates it when I travel. My son, Cole, caught my bug and is back with the team after a year off. I get to hang out with a group of people who allow me to go off to do my own thing, AND welcome me into their circle. There are people I have not heard from for a year who have reached out to ask if I was going to ride again this year. Wow!
Sometime tomorrow afternoon I will ride into camp and my ability to relax will go away. It will be time to get the bike ready for tomorrow, set up my tent, organize my bags, find the showers, find some food, journal, chat, team meeting, read, and line up my I Ride For: flags. And about 24 hours from now I’ll be sitting in this chair writing or reading and thinking about how relaxing it will be to ride 72 miles and climb 2,500’ on Monday.
The Road Rider