21 August 2012

Triple Treat

smoke from a distant fire
The high-pitched alarm shattered dark silence at 4:30 a.m. By 5 a.m. I was in the saddle, in the dark, on the same route I have pedaled to work so, so many times in the past. But I would not be going that far this ride. This ride was a test.

The adrenaline was palpable as I realized the last time I pedaled this bike, this route, this time of day, even wearing this very same jersey, I knew by mile six something was very, very wrong. It was Bike to Work Day, and I'm the coordinator at the office where I work. I couldn't turn around and go back home. Co-workers are dependent upon me. They look up to me as a source of inspiration, enthusiasm, dedication and rugged determination. No one else in my office pedals as far - 30 miles one way. I had to get to work. And I had get there on my bike.

Bike to Work Day
Bike to Work Day features a number of free breakfast stops throughout the Denver metro area. I stopped at the first one; they had oranges. I thought an orange slice might help. I didn't dismount. I was afraid if I got off my bike, I wouldn't be able to get back on it. I skipped the next eight breakfast stops. And at work, I broke down in tears when I called The Lizard to let him know I'd arrived. He could tell by my voice something was wrong.

Two weeks later, I had a new diagnosis, and I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to ride again. If I did, I wasn't sure I would be able to ride more than down my driveway. I was pretty sure I wouldn't ever be able to wear a backpack again.

But here I was, 7.5 weeks later, pedaling in the dark, pedaling very slowly in the dark, but pedaling, wondering if the pain would return, wondering if the monster lens in my Camelbak would send my back into places I did not want to be. My goal was 20 miles round trip. 10 miles out. 10 miles back.

Smoky Sunrise
My goal was sunrise. Fires in the northwest had once again turned our early morning sun into a bright pink glowing orb. Sunflowers would be a bonus. Making it home would be magical.

When I crested the top of the short hill I had to climb to see if I could, but also to attain the premiere sunrise view, tears once again flowed down my cheeks, but the emotions this time were different. Yes, there was pain, but not crippling. I'd made it!

crepuscular rays

Spooky Sun

My Knight in Shining Sun

Battle of the Beauties
The sunrise was spectacular. The sunflowers had not been mowed. The Lizard posed. And then we began making our way home.

my favorite cyclist
I couldn't resist. I stopped. For nearly an hour! My distraction resulted in an invitation for The Lizard and I to join the balloon crew when we are able. Because they like cheerful. And we were VERY cheerful.

The unplanned, unexpected shoot made for a great stretching break. I thought our impromptu stop would assure me a comfortable ride home. Not to be. The Lizard finally had to take my pack from me because my back was too sore make the final few miles while wearing the extra 10 or 15 pounds.

At home, prescription pain reliever once again knocked me out for several hours.

And then I felt better. I decided to try again. Probably not the brainiest thing I've ever done. But it was worth it. The weather was beautiful. We had plenty of time before dark.

The Boys are Back in Town
Ten miles later on the mountain bike, we found a touch of fall in the air. Male bighorn are preparing for their extremely photogenic annual mating season.

Once again, the ride home was tortuous, and The Lizard once again carried my pack the final few miles. I did not ride the next day. I slept.

But I spent a day getting some of the most incredible photos of my summer so far, and I don't regret one single pedal stroke.

More photos tomorrow. And Thursday. See ya then.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?


  1. Beautiful and breathtaking. I do hope your pain lessens with each coming day.

    1. Thank you, Ellen. I have good days and bad days, and those good days make it easier to get through the bad days, thankfully.

  2. You go, girl! (But take it slowly.) SO glad to know you're back in the saddle. Perhaps the Lizard can carry the camera both ways next time....

    Amazing photos - "Crepuscular" is my favourite, I think.

    1. Slow like a snail now... but slowly getting comfortable in the saddle again. Hope one day I can carry the camera both ways again. :)

  3. wow, even more than triple treat here! What a wonderful life!

  4. Missy Snowcatcher and Mr Lizard....my love and hugs reach across the miles to you.....
    I read somewhere that Snowflakes are Poetry in Winter. You do that, you know...make your crocheted snowflakes recite beautiful things all year round.

    1. That's so sweet, Maria! Thank you for helping me stay on the bright side!

  5. This post made me cry like a baby. A big, 57 year old baby. I came to see snowflake crochet and left cleansed. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Anonymous. It was wonderful to be able to see some of my favorite sights again. So refreshing, it recharged me enough to get me through the entire next week!

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Stratoz. Gentle prevails here now. I am not about to lose any more weeks or months of cycling than I have to.


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