Mud, Rain and Solitude

 The rain was coming down in sheets. The roof of the office began to leak, so an orange bucket was placed there overnight. I began to debate the reward of riding in such wet conditions. The debate was over…the bike was being unloaded from the Subaru. I began dry.

Water in bearings, water in shoes, and water in undergarments. Tree branches overhanging from being saturated, smacking my face, and scraping my legs. The rubber connected with the trail below almost without a whisper. Its hard to explain. It was dead quiet.

My need to ride was obvious. I moved through the saturated landscape without a thought in my mind. Verdant vegetation rejoiced in the steady downpour. Some say riding a mountain bike solo is akin to meditation. In many respects, it certainly can be. This ride was certainly beyond explanation. I felt no soreness, aching or muscle fatigue. The wheels tracked effortlessly, the brakes flawless, and the chain glided along its path in a reassuring way. Much like a good cup of coffee, the experience was sublime.

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My 29’er was the perfect compliment to what the trail had to offer…wet, muddy and root-laden soil. (image copyright The Wilderness Journal 2019)

And like a good cup of coffee, the sublime experience does not happen every time you take a sip. This is the beauty of riding. Each ride is unique. Some rides are bitter (fatigued and tired), and some are smooth. No two excursions are the same–at least in my experience. What fun would that be? Sameness.

Indeed the rain did reek havoc on my bike. Mud, grass, debris and leaf matter stuck to the frame. Nooks and crevices were plugged. And of my own admission, the chain was sporting a light surface coat of rust two days later, when I had a chance to clean up the memories from the bike. WD-40 to the rescue! As I cleaned each bit of the Schwinn, the concrete floor began to look a bit like the trail. A path of solitude. A near-perfect cup of coffee.

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Well worth the clean-up that followed two days later (not suggested…)(copyright The Wilderness Journal 2019)

 

Until next time, just get outside and breathe. And, do not let a little rain talk you out of it.

-Adam K.

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