I filled my jersey pockets with big scooping handfuls of Munson sand last night so that I would not float away. I felt light, not just in heft, but light of heart as well. Worry-free, content. I pedaled into the malingering crowd a moment before departure. There is W.B. There is his enforcer, his son. There is Big Worm. I bobbed along near them, daylight blinking beneath my tires as I inhaled and exhaled.

I left the pack in the car. No tube, no pump, no patchkit. No tools, first-aid kit, spare glasses or food. Two strong legs, a water bottle, and some hope for the future- that’s all I carried. I joined the current of riders as they seeped up the trail. At the top of the hill someone said, “If you want to go fast, then go now” and everybody waited. Two guys, then Big Worm, and when nobody moved for his wheel, I took it.

We galloped along in big ground-gobbling strides, and I hung on long enough to taste what it might be to belong there. After 5 or so miles the spell was broken. Maybe I tapped a brake, or burned the last molecule of the previous day’s hamburger, but I kept on. I watched the Clydesdale on the back of Worm’s jersey slowly pull away through the trees until it was gone.

I waited for the WB, and rode it in with he and his boy, my barrel smoking and low on ammo. Too much fun, too much stupid available joy to be had, out there floating away.


7 Responses to ballast

  1. Sweet read of a tasty ride.
    Sasquatch and I did a few road miles last evening and ate up the coolness rolling in from the woods next to Blair Stone like it was candy. A quick baptism in his pool, then home to dinner and the Tour rccap.

  2. I had a blast last night! I can’t get over the change in attitude that has come with your change in physical stature. You’ve got a lot more fight in you than I’ve ever seen, without it getting all aggressive and ugly.

  3. BW is right. Aggressive and Ugly is reserved for periods of angst and self-loating, now I just want to progress.

    I waited so I could be recovered when WB caught me instead of getting steamrolled by letting them catch me all gassed. The pros do that all the time, WB.

    *It was about 45 seconds Nicol. An eternity.