I'm not sure what made last Thursday night's ride so special to me. It was just one of those nights when it all came together.
It was a long hard week of training and Thursday nights two hour ride always ends my week before a spectacular day off on Friday.
All day clouds loomed ominously, threatening to throw lightening and rain ruining my ideas of riding outside. At 5:00pm things had started to clear and I rushed home to change and head out by 5:40 praying that the skies would hold and that I could pedal up and down the mountains for a few hours before nightfall.
Surprisingly, even after a long week of training, my legs felt light and unstoppable, like pistons curning up and down without much effort. Heading toward the park the sky was already beginning to clear and as I came to the stop light at the bottom of the hill where I like to do a few loops before heading out, I saw my friend Jerry round the corner at about 25 miles an hour. I knew I would have to beat it to catch him once the light turned, so I laid it down. Pushing hard on the pedals I turned a pretty high heart rate for about five minutes until I caught him. He smiled as I came up alone side asking if he had some time to ride with a friend.
Once he realized it was me he said let's get out of the park and I was game right away. We headed out on a loop we love around small Pittsburgh towns like Mars and Treesdale. The ride seemed to pass so quickly as we chatted and road past soccer games in progress and the air became cool and a perfect 70 degrees. I'm not quite sure what it was that night, but it seemed so effortless. It was reaffirmed once again how much I love the feeling of speeding down the road in my aerobars while looking down and seeing numbers like 27 miles per hour and 122 on the heart rate monitor. The hills were even enjoyable as I gripped the handle bars and pulled up just feeling so lucky to be alive and able to see the world with wind in my hair and from a bike seat once again.
The light started to fade and I was almost sad to see it end. My friend got me close to home and then sent me off on my way. The rain was just starting to drop and I had to move it or loose it to make it before it really let loose. I was feeling so good that I really ramped it up those last ten minutes (while still staying my zone coach, no worries) and pushed just to know I could. I wanted to end strong on a ride like that, it just wouldn't have been right to do otherwise. It was like a gift, and you don't waste it!
I wish I had pictures, and documentation, but mostly, I just have that sense that I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing that night and that there was no place I would have rather been than on my bike making a few hours pass like wildfire on a Thursday night ride. It's a good feeling when you feel it in your heart and it melts over you. I hope all of us keep getting those every once in awhile. It sure is amazing!