Five weeks ago, I made a trip “over the hill” to begin the University of California Extension Master Gardener program training (that will be a story for another day). Fifty-three awesome miles of winding, twisting roads from my home in Fort Bragg to Ukiah, normally about an hour and fifteen or twenty minutes. Five weeks ago, that trip was cold (low 30s) both ways, dark coming home, and damp in the corners. Took me more than an hour and a half. No heated grips or gear meant frozen, numb fingers and difficulty pulling in the clutch lever, especially on the ride home. I was less than a happy rider when I pulled into my warm house; time under a heated blanket and a cup of tea warmed me up nicely for the rest of the evening.
As much as I wanted to be an “every week rider”, I decided I’d wait a few more weeks for evening skies to lighten up and warmer temps, both of which I was gifted with today. In the meantime, there were multiple storms making not such conducive riding anyway, but overall more dry days than wet and warmer pavement meant quicker cornering today. Nice!
So far this year I have already ridden more miles and more days than I was able to last year, and much of it on my own. I have committed myself to riding more, because as I’ve stated in older posts, riding acts as a balancing effect on my psyche. A meditative state that I sorely need in my busy life as a mom, partner, and worker bee.
The ramped-up riding this year leads me feeling that I have truly come into my own as a rider. I no longer feel a need to count the miles (though that can be fun), nor do I wait for someone to ride with. I have achieved a level of confidence — but not cockiness — that feels fantastic. One of the coolest things about riding to this class is learning how many of my classmates are also (or have been) riders! Riding is a great connector, in so many ways.
One of these days, I’ll take an extended solo trip in order to add that milestone to my career as a rider. Until then, I’ll keep making the trip over the hill as often as is feasible and savoring every moment. Cheers! LRRL