Just Rewards


What a bear of a day at work! Starting early, rushing all day, and then having to stay late an extra hour and a quarter. And I was supposed to ride at 4pm!!!

Well, my reward for a day too long, and I landed at the Weldon Spring trailhead right around 5:30pm. I assembled my gear — getting the headphones wired through the CamelBak, getting the CamelBak drinking tube oriented, helmet on — and started on the trail toward Matson.

I knew I’d make Matson — that’s a ten mile roundtrip ride, and about an hour — but I felt good, and my legs were strong tonight. I blew through Defiance and Matson, and just kept going west. I’d not pedaled beyond Matson before, so this was new territory in a lot of ways. And the ground just kept rolling beneath the tires….

I wound up at Klondike Park, about seven miles from Weldon, and still felt like I had legs to go further, but I was concerned about running out of daylight. The late start because of the late night at work cost me going farther. I turned around, and headed back to the east.

I’m amazed at how easy the ride was tonight. I kept the bike in 3-6 gear, and that was oh-so-nice, and likely the reason that the ride went well. It was so reminiscent of my days riding two decades ago. Back then, I’d just ride and ride, and tonight I felt like I could’ve done just that.

I know I’ve talked about my trail riding before, but I’ve never mentioned the birds. As I ride, I spook cardinals, blue jays and little bluebirds. There’s no way I could photograph those little guys as they wing off, but they’re embedded in my memory.

I’ve also never mentioned the smells. On some parts of the trail, the air is thick with the scent of honeysuckle. Other parts are more odiferous as I pass the freshly fertilized farmers’ fields.

And tonight, the temperature was wonderful.  It was about 80 when I left the Weldon trailhead, and I know that in the shade it was easily 75 with some places where the change in temperature was amazingly evident.  It was like riding into a fog, with the temperature instantly feeling like it dropped five or ten degrees.

Yeah, tonight was special, well-deserved, and abbreviated, but it’s the best ride I’ve had yet, and I hope a portent of things to come!