April 24th 2010 was a gloriously sunny and warm day. It was such a nice day that the KNBC ride drew a crowd of over 24 riders. We descended upon Richmond like the Valkyries, proudly astride our war horses of carbon, steel and aluminium, our helmets gleaming in the sun, our fists clutching our water bottles in triumph.
Such a site we were to behold that children stopped to count us, and when I went to the local subway the sandwich makers were struck. They had, perhaps, never seen cyclists before!
We sat in the small memorial park across the street from the Richmond bakery and had coffee and our lunch while the sun gently rewarded our efforts. Cycling is a glorious thing!
The riders were all shapes and sizes. There were corpulent riders who stretched shiny lycra cycling shirts over their ample bellies, matching it with yellow shorts. They looked like black and yellow bumble bees on bikes, burly yet able to move. There were tall thin riders whose legs seemed to stretch endlessly down to their pedals, older riders and younger riders. There were experienced and inexperienced rider but what we had in common was a keen desire to celebrate life.
There is nothing like getting on a bike on a pleasant day and smelling the new mown grass and watching the awakening farmer's fields in the distance as you ride. There is no feeling that can match it.
I was late and rode to the start point in a hurry. I passed a group of motorcyclists who roared noisily to the next stop sign or light. At each stop, they would catch up to me, or I to them. The difference is there is no roar or smell of exhaust or engines when I start...just a soft click of my pedals. The bike, the ultimate stealth machine.
If you have never experienced the sheer joy and pleasure of riding a bicycle, what are you waiting for! The Ride of the Valkyries awaits you!
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