Fresh, Bright, Alive
Up, out and away from the busy road, it is the day’s first climb. Jacket unzipped, it flaps slowly alongside my torso as I grind and bob my way up the slippery grade. Flipping my glasses off, I perch them along my helmet’s brow at the road’s first respite. Lighting the day, I can now make out the details of the road’s surface, a stippled path of worn chipseal or pitted ashault I can never tell. Protected under the canopy of the climb’s roadside forest, the rain turns to drizzle. Water accumulates slowly along my cap’s brim, beading out to it’s edge, waiting, waiting, and then finally falling to a quiet “blop”. As I climb up out of the saddle, pulling with my arms and pushing with the opposing legs, my shoulders sway just the smallest of amounts and tip the level of the brim. Left, right, then back all the way to the left before dropping off the brim’s edge. How many times can the next bead of water hold on, how long can it live at the edge? A rollercoaster ride of extremes; left, right, left, blop. Ha, it’s almost in sequence with the beat of the music in my ear. The smoother I pedal, the longer the beads avoid’s it’s splash. The hill is steep but I feel.
When riding in the rain anything can happen. Conditions can change rapidly, incidents ahead are harder to avoid, roadside moss ever more treacherous. But we you ride in the rain you can feel every element of the experience at any given moment, now matter how awful it may be. In the truest sense, you are alive.