So tonight I went on what was a regular bike club ride for me last year – the Tuesday night D/C ride from the library behind my house. It is easily my favorite ride because the route changes depending on the whims of who shows up and there is no competition or competitiveness. It’s just people on bikes enjoying a lovely summer evening.
I decided to ride Lady Rainicorn since she’s been cooped up in my garage for a couple weeks. Plus this isn’t a crazy ride – it’s intended to be gentle and relaxing. This evening’s crew included our fearless ride leader, a couple on a tandem, and a woman from the Main Line area who is training for her first century at the end of July.
Indeed the ride was relaxing and the conversation flowing. Our intended route was blocked so we ended up detouring to Warington before turning back to Glenside.
As we pedaled I thought about when my friends James and Rachel and I rode our bikes to brunch the other week. I borrowed Rachel’s vintage Raleigh, a beautiful light blue Technium 440 with blueberry-colored bartape, matching pedals, and a rack. The lugging was gorgeous. Having ridden my own vintage bicycle, I was much better prepared for the stem-mounted friction shifters. The ride itself wasn’t terribly difficult or fast but it was the simple act of being with friends, on bikes, that felt really good. Correct. And while this isn’t the first ride my friend Rachel has gone on since her crash last summer, it was the first with me and I felt happy to see her back on her beautiful modern bike.
There is something to this thing we call cycling that excites the soul and satisfies a transcendental need. Being able to go out with friends and experience a peaceful evening together, letting the wind blow through your spokes, and sharing the events of the day is so rejuvenating. Sometimes I don’t want the ride to stop.
We rounded the corner to the library as cars were putting on their headlamps … And it reminded me that I lost my headlight at Elephant Rock the week prior. I didn’t notice this until the ride ended. My sister said she saw something blow off my bike early in the ride but didn’t know it was my light so she didn’t say anything. It was exceptionally windy after all. So I guess I can take the opportunity to upgrade my bicycle lights because I will definitely need another light.
Even now as I sit here on my couch typing this I can feel the happiness emanating from my core. There really is nothing finer than a summer evening with friends.
See you on the road.