The Little Things

RESTON, VIRGINIA

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.

But it’s the little things that often make a ride. And today had some of those moments.

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.

But next time I’ll take some food. Or at least water.

One Reply to “The Little Things”

  1. I see that at 03:07:00 going DOWN HILL you were only doing 7.8 mph, not the usual 45 mph we've come to expect. Is this literally what bonking means? I've never bonked perhaps because of my lazy boy electric lift chair, so just wondering.

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