At the end of July I was lured home by the occasion of my mother’s celebrating a landmark birthday. Home is the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and the Northwoods is bait & tackle, pick-up trucks, Friday fish fry, and boot scootin’. It’s also the strength of the trees, the inspiration of the hills, and the calm of the lakes. If New York City sometimes feels like a place you buy a ticket to, the Northwoods offers up the texture of a more simple American life. That degree of simplicity extended into the riding I did back home as well.
The heart-rate monitor and Stages power meter-equipped Louis Garneau stayed back in New York City, and I rented a one of the three road bikes available for rental in the entire area – a 2010 Marin from John over at Z-Best Bikes. The epitome of a journey-man, before starting his bike rental business, John worked as a fashion photographer in South Beach, and ran an auto-detailing business out of the same location that now serves as the bike rental shop.
The riding I did during my five days back at home was less about a means to an end, or more about simply an end unto itself. I wasn't turning the pedals with a specific training plan or race goal in mind. Instead, it was more about indulging a desire to explore desolate country roads, succumbing to the sweep of the landscape, and submitting to the seductive arc of the road.
These rides were a refreshing change of pace, reminding me what it is that drew me to cycling in the first place.
Back in New York City now, I’m feeling renewed for the last bit of the season with the team.