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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Uphill Battle (Part I)

I liked riding my road bike before I married a ridiculously fit, hard-charging, hill-loving cyclist.  Early in our marriage, my then-husband and I tried to make biking an “us” activity.  Spending time together doing something each of us enjoyed individually made great sense as a concept.  In reality, though, our joint rides made me feel like I was chasing Lance Armstrong in the Pyrenees while mounted on a Big Wheel.  Frustration replaced fun and fulfillment quickly (and in that way paralleled the trajectory of the relationship as well) so I abandoned my bike for many months.

Now that I'm on my own again and live within half a mile of three nice multi-use trails, I decided it was time to pick it back up.  The idea of climbing aboard the bike again produced some of the same anxieties I’ve experienced when contemplating getting back together with an ex.  Would I be welcomed back--no questions asked--and return immediately to the status I held before the hiatus? Or would I have to suffer through a round of punishment before experiencing reunion bliss? I confronted these questions today.

Local meteorologists referred to this morning’s air quality as “red,” a color that is universally understood as a warning.  For me, though, this rating system isn't all that useful because I don’t breathe in colors. (I’ve yawned in color a time or two, mainly in college, but those are stories for another post.) I think it's better to describe air breathability in less abstract, more relatable terms.  So, as of 6:05 a.m., today's air quality was “mashed potatoes and gravy.”  I went riding anyway, setting the table nicely for a splat. [Stay tuned for Part II....]

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