Spring Days and the Fountain of Youth
I’m sure you have seen it, the kid with the rubber boots splashing in puddles. Stomp, Stomp and Stomp-the simple joy of the splash. That is what spring riding is like. The simple joy of the splash. Call it the pent-up child within us, ready to burst forth like the buds on the cherry trees. Call it the freedom of the first good spring ride when you return with legs quaking like aspen leaves in the wind. The crazy joy that exhaustion brings, “Yes, I can still do it”! Your inner voice calls.
I have said for years that biking is the fountain of youth, it makes us feel like a kid again and gets us to pump our heart harder than most anything else will. Riding puts the brisk air in our lungs and into our faces. This kind of riding makes us remember that communing with earth is a good thing. We see the trees budding, the earth coming alive and with the cranking of the pedal we lose ourselves in time. I honestly believe these minutes when we are at one with the universe, these few seconds, don’t count against our big countdown clock in the sky. These seconds or minutes of sheer joy-they are free.
It was my first spring ride today, first ride of the year. Spring comes late in Montana and the chill air slipping off the snowcapped mountains can dispel the most bilging sunny day. Yet the weather gods graced me with a windless day, I took my fat tire bike down from the rack, donned a windproof jacket and rode off. I had only expected to short ride, but an hour later found myself tackling a steep muddy ride through the forested hillside. I splashed through puddles made by deer passage and weaved around branches down by winter snows. I climbed to the point where the only sound I could hear was panting breath and pounding heart. My insides hurt and it was great!
Pointing the bike downhill I rode reckless and fast, the exhilaration of the speed again making my heart race. Pulling up to my home I felt relief as I spilled off the bike, my legs were total noodles and I had to steady myself against the bike. I felt like I was twelve, muddy streaks up my legs and back – What a fantastic flipping day!