Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy May Day!

A clump of daffodils
cups of bright canary
atop their swaying stems
rising from the gray-brown mulch
green and yellow,
renewal of this spring morning
beside the parking lot, the road beyond
living spring, next to the blacktop
color and life, affirmation
rebirth in their rising
love in their presence
year after year

-Raymond Foss

April has come and gone.  In a blink of an eye, spring has somehow slipped through my fingers and summer is now knocking at the door.  Where did it go and what the heck was I so busy with that I didn't get to truly enjoy the beginning of warmth?  Oh yeah, that's right, it hasn't really gotten warm yet.

Each year, I start to grasp onto spring and summer a bit more than the year prior.  Although I make the most out of winter, there are no words which can describe my love for the warm, green months.  Days are filled with bicycle adventures, evenings are filled with dinners on the patio or gatherings with friends.  These few months offer the closest thing to heaven in my book.

In previous posts, I've mentioned my affinity towards May Day (May 1st).  And even though the weather brought cold rain this year, and my mind kept moving back towards last year's 80 degrees with sun, I couldn't help buy fully enjoy myself.  What could be better than standing in line outside all day, with several hundred other kindred spirits, waiting to sign up for the best bike event of the year?  No, the rain, wind, mud and fatigue couldn't wipe that stupid smile off my face.  We, my team and I, were going to get the chance to be a part of something so much bigger than us once again.

This year, like the first year we did RW24, we almost didn't make it.  Each year the line starts earlier, and each year we fret over getting in.  This year the line began to form around 3pm the prior day.  Since there was no way for any of us to get there the day before, we had to take our chances and head over in the early hours of sign up day.  Although none of us are religious, some sort of god--call it the bike god--was looking over us and we barely squeaked in.

Lining up and saying a little prayer

Our team, and our friend's team numbers

Even though I felt nothing could top getting to be a part of RW24 again, I thought I'd try by doing two "goat rides" this weekend.  You see, around this time each year, I get the pleasure of riding out to see one of my favorite species of all time.  It's kidding and lambing season, and thankfully, I know of two places to get my fix.  Not only do I get to pick up, cuddle and talk like an absolute moron to a bunch of kids, but I also get to bring friends.  We ride West of Madison, into the hills.  I pretend that it's "training" for upcoming gravel events.  It's not.  I just use this as an excuse to talk others into joining me.  Some take to these furry little minions right away--for some, it takes a few minutes.  Everyone, however, is won over by the time we leave.  And I'm guessing everyone is sick of hearing me giggle and squeal like a three year old by the time we roll out.

It is weekends like this, no matter the prolonged cold, rain and wind, that make me happy to be alive and even happier to have such an amazing group of people in my life!

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