Monday, July 7th, 2008

MTB: Lazy Days of Summer at Arastradero (by Janet)

I confess: I’ve been lazy.

Not so lazy that I haven’t been riding Arastradero, but too lazy to write about it. After a few weeks away, Mei rode with us tonight. In her gentle way she gave me a small dose of guilt: “Has the group been riding? I haven’t seen any ride reports.” Yep, guilty as charged. We have been riding. I just haven’t been writing. So this is for you, Mei.

Last night Laura, Cindy, Yvonne, Jill2, Paul, Mei and I rolled out, the hurried excitement of spring now mellowed into a lazy summer pace. No rush to beat the sunset. None of the cooped-up-all-winter energy driving us to charge up the hills. No anxiety about losing riders on the trail. We all know the route by now.

Instead, a distinctly mellower pace, perhaps a futile effort to reduce the sweat dripping into our eyes. Perhaps knowing that we spent all our leg power over the three day weekend. Or perhaps just knowing that there’s plenty of time to ride when sunset is after 8:30–why rush?

Reminds me of being a kid in summer. When school first lets out you run around trying to experience it all, sucking up the freedom from books and sitting in a desk all day. Then July hits and you just hang out by the pool or creek or even in front of the TV. We complained about being bored, but in truth we were happy. Happy to know that every day you didn’t have to do something new and exciting ’cause there’s plenty of time. It’s midsummer.

In the summer, that’s what Arastradero is all about. It’s not Downieville or Tahoe or even Annadel. You don’t need to pack your bags, get your bike tuned up, arrange for carpools or (gasp!) fill that gas tank.

At Arastradero, you just show up, happy to know that every ride doesn’t need to be new and exciting. That hanging out and riding familiar trails is what midsummer is all about.

Until next week,