The shop ride at The Bike Lane in Reston was canceled today because of the overnight rain and the rain forecast for most of this morning. But I went to Reston to pick up some bike parts and decided to ride on the W&OD.
I wasn’t prepared for a long ride but the more I rode the more I wanted to ride. Until I bonked.
Around Herndon I passed a young woman, Ellen, who appeared to be just restarting from a stop. I was then surprised to see that she was sitting on my wheel. I wanted to warn her that she should announce her presence lest she be hit by some flying snot rockets, of which there were a few.
We passed a man who had two dogs on leashes and one, a pit bull, appeared determined to CHASE. Someone on a bike. Ellen moved to the outside of me. I thanked her for letting me be closest to the dog.
We didn’t have long together. She was out for a short ride before turning around. But our brief conversation, especially me recalling my encounter with those Pennsylvania dogs was a simple pleasure.
I kept riding and reached Purcellville where I left the W&OD and went to Loudoun Golf and Country Club. There I met my son-in-law, Bryan Snow. Another simple pleasure.
|With Bryan Snow at Loudoun Golf and Country Club|
The ride to Purcellville was tough. A strong wind was blowing — at times it was a direct head wind while at other times it was a cross wind. Plus it is a gradual uphill climb to Purcellville.
|The terminus of the W&OD at Purcellville|
I had hoped for a strong tail wind on the return but the winds were swirling and were mostly cross winds. So I fought it all day. I was not prepared for a long ride, I had no water or food. And no money either. About 10 miles from the finish I felt it. I bonked. I was out of energy. I knew it because even the slightest grades and I was out of the saddle rather than sitting and producing a constant pedaling rhythm.
While it’s not weighing on my mind like the cancer surgery of 2 1/2 years ago, my upcoming surgery has me appreciating each remaining ride until I take the forced time off the bike. And appreciate the little things such as a simple conversation or a short visit.