Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cycling paradox

This weekend was full of paradoxes. I found myself unable to ride outdoors Saturday morning as our overly busy schedules put Golden committed to do a school function; meaning I needed to hang with Owen. Since the weather forecast didn't seem promising this wasn't too big of a deal and it looked like those who weren't racing at La Bastide were content to sit the inclement weather pattern out.

I pulled out the trainer and settled down to riding while watching the first classic of the season, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Our weather was chilly but the Belgian Spring I saw looked miserable. How often do you see pros racing in tights, jackets, and scarves. Yes, scarves. They looked miserable. So paradox number one - it actually seemed more enjoyable to ride my bike indoors given the other options.

Sunday came and with it a glorious sunshine that looked too inviting to stay indoors. We kitted up for a family ride, got all the bikes ready and took off riding towards the greenway. Paradox number two - my road bike for this voyage was my 'cross bike with road tires on it, but I made sure to hit dirt as much as possible to make up for the lack of tread.

The sun was bright and warm but the breeze was almost too chilly. As far as a tease for a coming rendezvous with Spring goes, Sunday was almost too much to bear. Owen attacked the hills with gusto on his single speed BMX bike. He even powered up Library Hill in one go. As crazy as our lives are, as busy as our schedules are, and as hard as it is for two outdoor athletes to pine for the freedom of self-propelled speed, the rush of blood and beating heart, and the deep breaths of fiery lungs, these moments of easy riding behind Owen as he explores his physical limits, pushes his pulse rate, and proclaims his growing strength with new milestones like climbing a hill without stopping for the first time, are deeply and astonishingly satisfying. Finding so much joy and wonder in the accomplishments of someone so small and young is perhaps the greatest paradox of all.
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