Today, slo, PJ, jmo, Grappy, Downer, Blondie, Stud, littlest fricker, and I got after it for 30:30 in the 3PP. We kicked our own. After thrashing ourselves with a combination of heavy ball overhead presses, TRXhighholds, chin ups with a 20 lb ball in your lap, and TRXballplanks, we switched gears, left the sweaty confines of concrete, threw on some Lycra and hit the early morning air. It. Was. Amazing.
The temp was still in the 50’s when we turned left off Pennington Court, headed to the river, and then made our way out to Kilborne and Downers favorite road “hogback.” We hammered it most of the way out into a fairly stiff, cool, northeast breeze. The twigs were tired, the lungs heaved, but the beauty, the trash talk, and the comradarie of suffering, kept me smiling and pedaling. Turning for the barn brought a much needed gale force wind to our favor. The twigs sighed with relief, lungs relaxed, and the chatter increased. Good.
Almost home as we turned on Taggart and cruised side by side. The comradarie of suffering was done, replaced by the comradarie of simply being with the boys. Fricker was making fun of me as we soft pedaled along the Olentangy river and the open meadow flowed to our left. It was just then I noticed a beautiful white head bobbing up from beneath some black feathers as it graced this meadow as if in a picture frame. “Bald Eagle,” I screamed and grabbed my brakes with both hands. Sure enough, Downer confirmed we were in fact in the presence of the most beautiful symbol of this country. We noticed some folks had seen this prior to our arrival and were watching from the long driveway to our south. I asked them how long they’d been watching and if they could tell what the eagle was obviously eating. Grappy started filming as only a coach instinctively would. You see, we were 50 yards from this beautiful bird having a large buffet breakfast. FM, baby. We stopped a handful of other cyclists going by and made them take it in. We even made friends with a few motorists who slowed to a stop. Who knew cyclist and motorist could find common ground sitting and staring at beauty. Together, we sat there mesmerized by the beauty of the bird. Together. Finally, Downer decided it was time to finish the few miles back to the barn, so we reluctantly saddled up and said goodbye to our big bird. He/she continued to eat and watch us, as we slowly pedaled away.
So, from there we talked and laughed for the remaining few miles. Everybody was smiling. Nobody complained about burning limbs or scorched lungs. Everybody smiled and said this is why we ride. Grappy pulled up alongside me, grinning ear to ear, and exclaimed, “This is why you’ve got to get up early and get outside. You can’t see this kinda beauty indoors.” So true, Grappy. So true. We turned up Sherborne and made the final climb back to my house. All of us together. Nobody left behind. Nobody off the front. Nobody alone. All one. One “l” of a difference. Alone to All one.
This is why we ride. Good…