“Are you kidding me…why are we starting out this fast?”                              “Uphill and a headwind…I can’t keep up ya’ll”

                                                   “Is my brake rubbing?”

                                             “How are they riding so fast?”

These were all questions that surfaced in my mind this afternoon as I rode my bike, struggling to keep up with my friends who seemed unaffected by the strong headwind as we pedaled uphill for 15 miles. It turned out the head wind, as Laura so definitively stated, was a 9-mile an hour light breeze and the uphill portion was a figment of my imagination; the road was mostly flat.

                                     Umm…it’s good to have a vivid imagination, right?

We had easily ridden 40 miles the day before in beautiful weather followed by an awesome Texas barbeque (my first taste of Buttermilk Pie…Praise Be!) with bottles of local beer jammed packed in Pam’s cooler.

Less than 24 hours later, I was suffering at the back of our pack wondering how they were doing it.

I had spent the morning grooming Max (why is it the whiter the horse the higher the likelihood he’ll roll in the mud?). Running late from the farm and driving Granddaddy’s Van (a workout in and of itself) I missed our designated time to meet. I expected them to take off and ride without me but no, my friends were not letting me off the riding hook. As I hurried into my cycling gear, they came to me and off we went. To clarify: off they went. Perhaps due to the fact that my lunch had primarily consisted of sharing carrots with two horses, I was not full of energy. Apparently I needed more fuel than a few bites of carrots to propel me through some slightly breezy, Texas flatland.

As we pedaled along, the road seemed hilly, and the breeze a gale-force wind yet my select peloton of friends stayed close to support me, slowing their cadence to wait. We all have those days that aren’t so easy on the bike and we all take a turn, eventually, experiencing an off day.

                          At the same time, we all know what is unspoken:
A bad day on the bike is still a damn good day.

Riding in concert with friends, a moving part of the richness of bright green grasses with goats and hawks and thick clouds of migrating birds…baby cows having lunch that momma cow provided…horses and fields of sheep…and today, the bonus of really smooth pavement, we were among the fortunate. 

Our life is what we make it. Today for about twenty miles I was making my life difficult yet I couldn’t keep it up. Despite the fact that my body was hungry and my mind was inventing hills and winds that weren’t there, I could not keep up the façade that what I was doing wasn’t fun. My friends are too amazing, Texas is too beautiful and the freedom of riding a bike is far too liberating to fall prey to making it difficult. Because it’s not. We were riding our bikes on a beautiful Texas afternoon. Damn good day.

As we made the turn and headed back home, the road flattened out, the wind disappeared and all I could see was beauty. I had a tough day on the bike but I kept pedaling and that’s all it takes.

All we need to do is keep pedaling; we’ll get there eventually.

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

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