5:45 am. Saturday morning. It’s raining. Buzz….. Buzz…. Dahhh…. Why did I set my alarm so early? Snooze twice. 18 minutes later. 6:03 am. Dahhh… Why did I sign up for this ride?
This ride is called the Mercy Fall Classic. There’s a few reasons why I like it. It’s on the American River Parkway, so the scenery’s nice, and the riding is easy. Second, it’s pretty well sponsored, and very well stocked, you can almost pick up enough Gu and Shot Blocks to last an entire season. It’s also the cheapest century ride, and it comes with a free t-shirt. So it’s a great ride to end the cycling season.
It was still dark when I loaded up my bike. At least the rain stopped for now. After a couple of miserable rides in the rain and cold last year, I picked up all the gear necessary to ride in terrible conditions. Arm warmers, leg warmers, skull cap, cycling vest, waterproof shell– I had all the requisite gear. But I still was dreading the prospect of riding in the rain. It’s never fun. Plus I hate wearing all that stuff. I feel like a freaking ballerina when I wear the leg warmer tights with my bike shoes.
Luckily the weather held up for almost our entire ride. It wasn’t until after we had finished our ride and had packed up that it actually started to rain. The American River parkway is one of my favorite places to bike, even on a gloomy overcast day it’s still beautiful. Surprisingly there were multiple events going on that day, there were dozens of runners for SacFit and even a kayaking event at Lake Natoma. It’s salmon spawning season, so there were dozens of fisherman sitting in the water trying to catch salmon as they migrate up river. So it ended up being a good day.
And so with this ride, my 2010 road riding season came to an end. For the past couple of years my goal has been to do 3 organized rides per year. This year I think I ended up doing 6, but what’s cool is that I did 3 rides with Tim, Jiro and Dave, my normal riding buddies, so my goals sorta rubbed off on them.
I once heard this saying:
When you’re young you have time and friends, but no money. When you’re working and have a family you have friends and money, but no time. When you’re old you have money and time, but no friends.
I guess I’m in that short period of time when I have enough of all three. I came to the realization lately that this season of my life won’t last forever, and no matter how long it is, it will feel way too short. So I’ve decided to embrace this season and make the most of it.