….riding season officially OPEN! Yup, finally the day has come where I feel the wind in my face and the rattle of Montreal’s winter ravaged roads beneath my buttocks. All hail! Spring is finally here and I am out of the bloody basement!
I spent the whole morning champing at the bit, going from one conference call to the next. My goal was clear and simple: lunch time was ride time. The first outdoor ride of the season, and given the beautiful sunshine that was streaming in through my little basement office window, it was going to be a good one. I love those first few rides of the year. They’re awesome for a number of reasons, but one element that always fascinates me is how it is still technically winter all around, yet the emerging sun has warmed everything up enough that the roads are dry and free of ice and the cool 2c temperatures don’t feel cold as long as you have the sun right on your face.
I was not disappointed. What a feeling! I took the fixie out. I mean come on, did you have to ask? It’s been sitting in my office for the past three months taunting me each and every day. There was no way this was not going to be the first ride of 2011. I’ve been dreaming about riding that bloody bike. It’s an easy transition in fact, from the road bike on the trainer to the fixie outside. I say that because the one thing you have to remember about the fixed gear is that you keep pedalling. Don’t “relax” and stop moving your legs because you’ll get a rude kick as the pedals continue their forward drive due to momentum and you could end up on the ground before you know what hit you. On the indoor trainer I find that I never coast, partly due to the fact that I do a lot of hills and also because I typically set up a race against my previous best time and so it is not in my best interests to slow down and coast at any point on the course. And so it was that I found myself happily blasting along the Lakeshore during lunch, soaking in the cracked road and doing my best to avoid the salty puddles.
I’ll tell you one thing, it sure feels like you go fast after a quarter pedalling like a demon and getting nowhere. Long live riding outdoors. To those in warm temperate climes who cannot relate to tis feeling of euphoria, I say that you are actually missing out on something truly magical. It’s only when you have something taken away from you for a spell that you can truly appreciate it. That’s true for pretty much anything.