Spring. Like any season it is a bit different every year. Some years it is gorgeous, full of renewing color, birds chirping in the sunshine. Some years it is a slightly warmer version of winter. Full of wind, wet heavy snow, lots of long grey days. Despite the vagueness of what is to come, I always look forward to the coming of spring.
This year is no exception. I am on a mission. I have a big huge looming goal that fills my head with thoughts, ideas, paranoid questions and dreams of days and days spent riding my bike as much as I can. This mission has kept me riding all winter. Somedays I am lucky enough to ride outside on the fat bike, and I love riding my Pigsley. In fact I have come to appreciate winter much more since I got into the snow bike thing. Still most of my riding has been on the dreaded road to nowhere, my trainer. Which despite being a subject that wrings fear from my heart, I have gotten pretty good at turning off the mental resistance and just doing my job, riding, doing intervals, building my capacity.
Yet there is nothing like a real wind in your face bike ride. Nothing. I am not a roadie, but riding any bike makes me smile. Feeling the sun on my skin, my legs spinning little circles, blood pumping happily from head to toe, it really does make me smile. Here in the Gunnison Valley, we are a good month away from any sort of mountain biking. I could get in a car and ride on dirt not too far away. I am not sure exactly why, but I prefer to make due with what is right here. For me part of the magic of bikes is prepping everything and simply riding from my door. No cars, no lost time, just ride.
Today is March 17th. It is almost officially spring. It is still cool during the day and cold at night. There is snow on the ground and in the forecast. The wind blows hard almost everyday. Thus I am constantly tortured by pictures of folks on Facebook, riding, bikepacking, frolicking in the warm sun on real dirt. Oh it hurts me to be so stubbornly set in my ways. Simply not able to spare the time or money to travel, still I wish sometimes that I could go and race in the desert, or go do some bikepacking in warm Arizona. Augghh! But my goals are too big, too important, to entrenched in my heart for me to dare lose focus.
It all makes me wonder what will spring bring. Warm luscious sunshine, or cold wind and snow. How soon will the snow melt here so we can enjoy some dirt ourselves? Will the snow melt up in Montana, Wyoming and Canada by June? I go to sleep some nights wondering these questions, often I wake up still wondering….
No matter what I will keep riding into that fierce spring wind. The shoe covers will go on over the multiple socks, the several layers of jerseys will be piled up to keep my core warm and pumping. Admittedly I love warm sunshine and dry trails, but any riding will do. It all makes one wonder, what will be more merciful; wretchedness that inspires greater strength or comfortable conditions to be enjoyed. Careful what you wish for.