We must all suffer one of two things;
the pain of discipline
or the pain of regret or disappointment.
It is always by way of pain
one arrives at pleasure.
-Marquis de Sade
My legs are calling me several nasty names, my toes are half frozen and I'm questioning why I didn't wear chamois cream today, but damn if I don't half one hell of a smile on my face! "Spring training/riding" continued this weekend, and now mother nature is about to laugh in our faces and dump 3-5 inches of white stuff on us--I am NOT laughing with her.
Yesterday, I along with one of my Sunday partners-in-crime, joined an entirely new group for a friendly little ride out to Blue Mound State Park. For the first 20-25 miles the wind mocked us, as it usually does, and I, being the chicken shit that I am, sucked the life out of another riding friend's wheel--thank you Tim!
One of the roads on the route went right by a farm belonging to a friend whose memorial service I'm attending later today. I didn't plan the route so I found it somewhat serendipitous--especially since that friend was also a cyclist. I did a gentle nod as we rode by his sheep and goats, not quite sure if the tears rolling down my face were 100% due to wind or a little bittersweet feeling mixed in.
When we turned out of Mazomanie, the hills began and felt like a welcomed reprieve--hills are a known, wind is not. I like climbing, even though my spring legs may disagree. Views from the top make the pain go away, not unlike some women who give birth, and complain about the pain, once it's over, they are ready to have another kid.
The piece de la resistance was my earliest summit of Blue Mound. I swear I could smell the wine I consumed the night prior oozing out of my pores, and maybe even taste a little of it coming up during the last kicker, but I was on my bike, it was sunny, and I was happy. That pain, or should I say discomfort, that you feel when you think your legs/lungs and heart may just stop working, is something I actually crave once in awhile...yes, I have a problem. This "discomfort" means I'm pushing my body to a new level. Growing new tissue, and renewing cells. I will add I don't like feeling this way often, but sometimes it's just what the doctor ordered.
|Sunday crew gathering up for a chilly start|
So how do you top one hell of a Saturday ride? With a Sunday ride of course! Back with the regular Sunday crew we busted out a cold 40-50 miles (depending on where folks rode in from). Last weekend was our final "F*CK the Cold" winter ride with 60 degree temps. This Sunday, for our first regular group ride, it was just above freezing with a stiff wind and snow flurries. We didn't care, well...we cared a little, we just made the most of it and I think we all had pretty big smiles on our faces--or were they grimaces?
|Warming and fueling up|
As we rolled back into town, snow started falling from the sky. Dare I say it was pretty? The Mama's and Papa's song "California Dreaming" started to loop in my head..."all the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray." At this point my feet were pleasant little ice blocks but for some reason I was still happy to be out there.
The gain that I took back from this weekend's pain just reminded me why I got into cycling and how much I love to do it with others who appreciate it as much as me. Thanks to Tim for putting together the first ride, all the cool folks I met on that ride and my Sunday crew for holding me accountable and putting the icing on the cake.