*All visual Aides in toonday's post were donated by Eric.
The profile of Saturday's classic Wilson Creek ride is an interesting piece of data that combined with the map gives a good overview of our route.
Ian 'The Pony' Lione in fine descending form holding a sweet line.
Out of the seven of us on Sunday's ride, four of us including Dicky, Eric, The Pony and I have been riding together for a few months short of twelve years. Nothing to take away from the three newer guys but I realized early on the first climb while spinning alone through the dead that there is something special about my friends. I have always known that these were quality humans but alone from the saddle spinning up 181 after so many years, rides and life changing moments for each of us individually it was clear and new.
Time flies or is like some sort of bending warp that acts like a catalyst for climbing. The Heartbeat in my chest is pumping blood through my system of skin bag, bones, muscle and water. Up the asphalt is mostly shady and a bit cool compared to the air of the Jar that we left a few hours earlier. When I ride into a sunny spot on the upward slope of road I look down and see my left hand on the grip of my carbon handle bars. It is like looking at a living sculpture or something else artistic. The skin tone, veins, lines, wrinkles and bone structure were right there for me to study on my own paw. In the crescent shaped cove between my thumb wrapped under the gray grip and my pointer over the top I notice a movement that I do not think I had ever seen before. It was the pulse of my human system visually apparent, glistening sweat in the glowing bright sun. Pedaling uphill does not always require looking straight ahead so I watched my own heartbeat in my hand as distance and time were slowly covered. The skin raised and lowered with each beat of my pump reaffirming my status as alive.
Confession is not something that I believe can be quantified down to a small boxy room and the penance issued from another human ordained to hold such power. I have learned that it can happen at the instant I realize that I made a mistake and that mistake had an impact on others. With that realizations comes a sinking feeling in the woods at a trail intersection high in the mountains. Still the car is far away so there is no running from it, only towards it with the knowledge that a punishment is not something to accept from anyone. The look in creates an honest assessment of the choices that I made which led to the pain of now, eleven years later. Choices, a scholar once pointed out to me that we as humans have a unique capacity in that we can constantly make choices. We can choose what to do at any point in time and then we can immediately make another choice.
Down Raiders faster than I can ever recall. The trail was perfect as was Eric's line all the way through the bottoms. Time passed in what seemed a slower manner than the first climb even though we were wide open with as few brake taps as possible. My guilty feeling drifted away out of the back of my mind and body over the rocks and downward sloping terrain. High banked turn, swoop down straight away. Eric's rear wheel kicking up a football sized rock chunk, I steered smartly around it and hit one for myself. The thick smell of the summer forest engulfed my brain as we descended lower into the hardwoods. I can see the creek coming up below us out of the corner of my right eye. This descent of atonement would be over in a few hundred meters but the emotional and inner body transfer that I experienced will be with me for the rest of my days...