My Birthday Present

Sunday morning and I take off early for a recovery ride – 30 miles ought to do it. This early and it’s just me and the animals and the sky and the road. Rolling slow at 70 revs I hear more, see more and feel more of the ride. No cars, no kids, no hassle. No sun yet.

I’m outside of town now, and a big hawk glides over me, just twenty feet up. I keep rolling but stare directly up, then over my shoulder – it’s early for his type. I coast just to listen to the sound of my freewheel, because I never coast for fun. But today it’s good.

The farmland takes over and I start to hear more because it’s still a cadence of 70. I’ve got to let my body recover – hammering this ride would be bad. And suddenly my mind is fully involved in the recovery, the relaxation of the ride. I hear a pheasant cry across a field, dogs bark in the distance, water gurgle in irrigation ditches.

And it just goes on and on – sweetness experienced on two wheels. 6:15 AM now and I’m 5 miles out. My sore ankle is warming up, my sore wrist tolerable. But the world is sweetness. Llamas stare at me, doves whistle by like jet fighters, a 100 year old cottonwood swooshes in the breeze. I grin like a kid when a fox darts from behind a farm fence, slows a bit when he looks over his shoulder at me then sprints across the field.

I’m out where farms meet desert now. I rolled across an even mile of brand new blacktop – a surprise because I hadn’t been on this route in months. The sun is one finger above the cliffs now, and this western sky portends a hot dusty day. I’m ready to plot my way back home, so I roll to a stop. I even like the sound of brake pads on rims in 7:00 AM quiet. Unclipped and sitting straddled my bike, I’m kinda gawking around at the world and it hits me…I just got my birthday present. I turn 51 in a couple days, and I just got one of the greatest gifts ever.

beautiful, Joe. wishing you a great and happy birthday today.

Joe I do enjoy reading your posts…it always makes me wish I was out on my bike instead of just reading about it :wink:
Happy early birthday sir. Glad you enjoyed your gift to yourself! And thank you for the great blog.

Happy Birthday, Joe

happy bday! that is a great ride

Joe, your description of your birthday gift was so good that I was able to go on the ride with you. Thank you for sharing your gift with those of us who can’t do what you are able to do! Happy, Happy Birthday.