It’d been ten or more days since I’d ridden a bicycle. An especially malicious lower-back spasm had me out of commission.
Today, however, I felt well enough to sling my leg over a bike without pain. So, of course, that’s exactly what I did.
Whenever I’m off the bike for an extended period, it’s amazing and a little sad how much I worry that all my strength and even my ability to stay upright on two wheels will vanish. It’s frightening how much I identify pedaling as part of my life.
But within 30 seconds back on, I was smiling, and within two minutes, I was high as a kite. Clear, chilly skies burned my lungs; bright sun beamed into my soul. I felt something coiled tightly inside of me gently let go. My body expanded.
I was new.
I didn’t go out for long, maybe fifteen minutes. I've learned (through years of not learning) not to tempt fate. But when I got home, I was as happy as I’ve ever been after a fifty-mile epic in the hilltowns.
I’d been pushing it too long and hard into December and January, when I should have been laying low. My back decided to remind me, for the 127th time, that you never miss your water til the well runs dry—andyou never remember how elementally satisfying biking is until you just can’t do it.
It’s a basic human activity, like walking down a dirt road, or drinking clear, cool water.