I left work after dark tonight (last night). I had somewhere to be over in Cherry Creek, so I set out with double gloves and full-on balaclava for the chilly two-miler. Once I got to Cheesman Park (which might be my favorite park to ride through, mainly because it’s an oasis in an otherwise congested part of town, and for the tree-lined trail that cuts through the west side of the park), I had this incredible out-of-body sensation. I couldn’t really see anything in the dark park, including myself. My legs were pedaling and my arms were holding on, but I just kind of felt like I was flying. (And, no, I wasn’t on drugs.)
It reminded me of a time back when I was just 20, traveling on a four-month backpacking trip through Kenya, Egypt and Israel and we’d rented bikes to cruise around Siwa – a REAL oasis, in Egypt near the Libyan border. We’d found an incredibly idyllic picnic area with hammocks hung between the palms and let the daylight run out there. By the time we decided to ride home, it was pitch black and we had no lights on our bikes. If I had been alone, I would have ridden slowly and cautiously back, especially because the roads were dirt. But, because I was with a crew of seriously intrepid people, I went ahead and rode alongside our pack leader – fast. Same feeling. Like it doesn’t even matter what’s on the ground, you’re just going to fly over it by the sheer force of your will.
When I got to my destination, some guy sized me up as I was carting my bike up some stairs and told me I was his hero for riding in the cold weather. It’s not cold when you’re biking, I said.