Under mostly grey skies, there were rare moments of celebration when golden light appeared through the trees.
The twisty singletrack was littered with exposed tree roots. The climbs were short, but steep, and my A. Homer Hilsen handled them well. Shifting into gears lower than I normally use, I picked my lines with patience, precision, and ease. I was surprised at how well the Col de la Vie 650b tires worked even in shallow sandy and muddy areas. I remember thinking, that if I were encountered conditions that required a different bicycle, I’m not sure I’d be interested in riding a bicycle there anyway.
As I wandered deeper into the woods, and farther from the interstate, I remember climbing one of the longer climbs. I remember only the sound of my breathing as I rolled silently on a pine needle pathway, only to be startled by the sudden sound of my freewheel after reaching the crest.
It wasn’t about winning the race. It wasn’t about fitness or speed. It was about wandering through the woods on a refreshingly cool winter day. It was like hiking, but with more “flow”.