There have not been a lot of race posts popping up here lately, have there? I have decided they, too often, get in the way of my weekend riding. I usually come to this conclusion at some point late in the summer. The mileage count will rear its head, the ugly side of it i mean, the side that is not the least bit impressive. Those eighteen to twenty-five mile evening rides during the week are there, doing their part, but the longer weekend rides are absent, and the deficit is clearly noticed. 

I do miss the races, even if it is only to be there covering them for the blog. I miss the action, the braggadocio, the bravado of the solo flyer, the urgency of the chase.

I miss my riding more.

the grass is growing out into the right hand bend in the road. i must have tried four or five times to get a good shot - riding tight into it, the grass brushing up against me and the bike. finally i gave up, stopped and pretended. you can too. feel how it tickles?

I have come to recognize this as a malaise, one that sets in during the hottest, most miserable part of summer when the heat combines with the southern monsoons. People of the Deep South have long recognized the malaise which strikes in July and August. Writers of the immortal word have been known to weave it throughout their stories. 

Around here, when the thunderheads rise above the desert and spill over the mountains, we expect the worst. They bring that energy and enthusiasm-sapping mugginess. The evening last, those clouds brought rain with them. Not a lot, mind you. Just enough.

Enough for me to write off this days race in favor of riding for myself. Enough to forego any possibility of meeting Brooke Shields. Enough to clear the air of the foulness that builds during July, the foulness of which Los Angeles is famous. Enough to wash clear the stink of exhaust and replace it with the fresh scent of earth and dry grass made damp. Enough to clear from the air the dust and soot which obscure the mountain views.

I hope the race in Brentwood held all the promise of another chance, that racers and spectators alike got their moneys worth from it. A simple ride this morning was enough for me, though. I rode under the cover of gray clouds, into San Dimas Canyon and back home again. It was an hour and a half in the sauna which left me sweat-drenched but, for a change, i at least did not have to stare into the blast furnace as well. I had hoped for a little rain to fall while i was out, though not expecting it. It does not fall in the mornings during August. It is an afternoon-to-evening thing. Now, as i sit on the porch with a beverage bottled by the folks at New Belgium the clouds are gathering and darkening. I think we will get some more rain. It will be welcome, and i may go out again into it. Maybe it will wash away the malaise, bring about a new direction.


  1. San Dimas Canyon Rd -- Low stress shady ride.

    1. Yes. I would like it to be longer, more challenging (i.e. more climbing) but not at the expense of the tranquility.


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