Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Blink of an Eye

I have really been enjoying my Tuesday road rides up in Harriman. Although some weeks I struggle with the faster pace of the group, the scenery and all it's seasonal developments are welcomed each week. The sun, the wind and the scents make riding through the park on a bike so much more enjoyable than in a car like most of the world sees it. This past Tuesday was no different.

Sundays race, and my first real race of the year was a very tough race. Rain had made the course conditions very muddy and treacherous. I'm not quite sure why, but I started the race a bit flat. It seems that since having Lyme Disease in August, I have not regained my racing spark. After two laps I was exhausted, and even contemplating dropping out, which is something I have never done. I stood at the start/finish area and shared a few words with my teammate who had just dropped out, and decided I needed to try to finish to find the answer to me being tired. Needless to say, I went out for my last lap and walked part way up the big hill, and if you know anything about me, I usually do not walk up hill too often. That night when I got home, I was so tired I could barely feed myself.

Tuesday came, and I did not expect to feel recovered, but with amazement, I was a new person. The park was beautiful that night, and I did not struggle with the climbs or pace, although most of the group did race on Sunday too. Near the top of Rt 106 my foot unexpectedly unclipped from my pedal. After several of these happening, I realized that I had worn off the part of my cleat that held me in. I was able to steady my foot in the pedal with constant pressure down, so I finished the last 25 miles of the ride with a steady and constant down stroke on the right foot, and no standing. It was a good exercise in discipline, and made for a challenging and good day on the bike.

With what seems like a blink of an eye in life, summer has arrived. The emergence of light green that grows from down low and works it way up to the tops of the trees has now turned deep green all over. The sun shines through to the back of my eyes, colliding with my soul. The big sky steps down from the stage and green walks in letting the understory of the forrest play it's role, and the canopy above now offers us shade . Welcome! ...The season has gone full circle.

Dumping a load of green for my eyes at Jungle Habitat.

a contrast in decay

a trio of lady slippers

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All Girl Ride 5/9

Hooray for All Girl Rides! This past Saturday was by far one of the most fun Kittatinny Clinic rides that I have organized to date. Fifteen outstanding and energetic women gathered to learn and improve their skills. It was a real pleasure to have such passionate and experienced leaders like Jess and Tara. Everything just seemed to move along naturally, and the women picked things up easily. Skills included, mounting, dismounting, balance, track standing, tight cornering, front wheel lifting, back wheel lifting and bunny hopping. By the end of the skills session, they were bunny hopping with joy. Afterwards we all had a great ride and reviewed hill climbing, rocks and log riding while out on the trails. We rode much of the park including the spine, which by the way was lined with moss and columbine. Good day indeed. Looking forward to seeing more women on the trails.