A couple posts ago, I described Mill Valley as a strange place. The truth is, Northern Nevada is strange too.
Thoughts on the number of cyclists:
Hate: On most of my training rides, I see more cows and horses than people. On the busiest summer days, I might see 30-50 people while out on my ride or later as they zip by my backyard. There is a small group of cyclists who enjoy low speed century rides over grueling passes but those rides don’t often fit into my schedule. All this is to say that I’m normally training by myself. I tend to grouse about not having people to train with especially after a weekend in Sacramento, Davis, or the Bay Area.
Last weekend I went out to the backyard to let the chickens out of the coop. I grabbed a puffy jacket, a hat and gloves on my way out the door. The sun felt nice so I started cleaning out the nesting boxes. A few seconds later, I heard cyclists whizzing by. In the span of 10 seconds, I inventoried my supply of clean bike shorts and calculated how long it would take to catch those cyclists. On the brink of dropping my shovel full of chicken poop and running inside to get ready to go, I came to my senses. It was 26 degrees outside and I was feeling cozy thanks to the puffy jacket. I am sometimes desperate for riding company, but I do have my standards.
Love: the pros train mostly by themselves. If they have partners, the partners do the pros workout. I just keep telling myself that I’m training like a pro!
On a beautiful ride on my favorite loop last weekend, I stopped at my favorite spot and propped my bike against a tree. No houses, no cars, and no other people around. Endless pit stop opportunities. (Where do people in I soaked up the sun and looked around at the views of the mountains and the valley. At that moment I appreciated the solitude. I didn’t have to dodge cyclists or weave in and out of the masses. I didn’t have to jump on any bike paths and look out for runners, dogs, strollers, or cruisers. With a podcast providing background music, I was on autopilot for most of my ride. I didn’t have anyone pushing the pace or secretly racing me uphill. But sometimes, that’s fine by me.
There are tradeoffs, but I’ll take scenery and solitude any day!