Sometime you just go ride your bike, and when it's done you roll up next to the car with this ridiculous grin on your face, exhausted, crusted in sweat salt, ready to eat anything not clearly classified as roadkill, dieing for pint, and happy you have the great gonzo friends you have. Saturday was such a day. We went out with only the semi-clearest idea of where we were going and certain to have fun regardless - it was!
Hammering along for 105 miles and just over 7,000 vertical feet it was one of the best Saturdays ever. Legs and arms burning, feeling every mile on the road (see I'm a TOTAL whiner!!!!) and the lungs doing their job without any pain (see Going slow to go fast... ). It was a near perfect day - from Lyle up the Klickitat River with TT, Alex and Lash, solid climbs and an awesome decent into the K-River gorge en route to Glennwood where none of us had ever pedaled and then turn and climb back out; over the top this whacked out idea gets in your head and you TT for the stop-sign-warning-sign like you were Fabian C in the '09 Worlds - insane, totally frigg'n insane your body tells ya. Finally, at 90 miles into it ya tilt the front wheel skyward at 11% for 4 miles and climb Appletone Grade, questioning your sanity with every pedal stroke, before topping out and then a rocket decent, chasing wheels at warp speed for 5 miles back down to the Columbia River Gorge.
That... That is why we ride.
You can live a life time for one day like that.
When ever it hurt - I just remembered I had legs, and I pushed on the pedals that much harder. Whenever the lungs burned on a climb, I remember each breath meant I could and drove harder.