I got to be the leader of the "C" group in the Iron Gear ride. "C" meaning beginner, newbie, slow.
But today's ride was a great reminder of what cycling is all about. It took me back.
I remember getting on my bike and having trouble getting my water bottle out of it's cage. And not knowing what side shifter changed what gears. I remember not wanting to look behind me while riding because my bike would turn with my head. And the uphill, oh the uphill.
Now it all comes so easy. I can shift. Drink. Turn. Accelerate. I have improved. Uphill - well, it's still a challenge. But a challenge I love to face.
Today I liked watching those beginners get down into their aerobars. And watching them feel the sun and the wind on their face. And seeing them smile. They rode farther than they ever had before. And pushed their limits.
And I see that they are getting it -- a love for cycling. A love for the ease of pedaling down an empty road. A love for the whir of the wheels. And a love for the quiet. There's something about cycling that takes you away, while keeping you present.
Hard to explain, I guess. Unless you have a bike. And love it like I, we do.