Yesterday I did something completely new. I rode. Outside. On January 1st. As a New Yorker, I’ve grown accustomed to hunkering down between Thanksgiving and Saint Patricks Day and giving my indoor trainer a good beating.
New Years day was the kind of weather that had people stripping off jackets and donning only light full-finger gloves. We’re talking low to mid 50s and sunny here, people. Something almost unheard of up here in ski and ice skating country.
So we posted a ride…and people came. Twenty-six cyclists to be exact, a number that would be impressive on any Saturday morning in July. Just feeling the warmth and excitement of everyone on their bikes was incredible. During the summer months it’s so easy to get used to spending hours a week together, riding shoulder-to-shoulder, chatting about everything and nothing as the miles tick by. Then daylight savings time ends and, except for the brave few who slug it out year-round, we suddenly find ourselves cut off from many wonderful connections and conversations.
This year has been especially hard because it was a collection of lasts. Job and school commitments are forcing us to relocate, away from the rolling hills and traffic-less roads that almost feel like an extension of our own bodies. It’s hard to say goodbye to the people who have waited for us at stop signs, passed us extra water on summer’s hottest days and shared advice that we’ll forever carry with us.
As the peloton filed out under the warm winter sun yesterday, it felt as though nothing had changed. We quickly settled into the draft, striking up conversations and challenging our off-season legs to fall into a familiar rhythm. For 30 miles, there was no past or future. Just today.