Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today, I rode to the End of the World ...

... and I made it back.

Damn, it's been windy. I don't know exactly how windy it was today, but according to the flag it was at least a 30 mph sustained gale. They call it "breezy" around here. Yeah, whatever!

Look at the lines!

With this kind of wind in the forecast, I went out early (shortly after 8 a.m., even though it was right around freezing) and went west—'cause that's where BIG wind comes from. There's a ride that I've called the "End of the World" ride since, what, the late 80s. You're out there, in the middle of nowhere, and the road keeps going straight. You know the curvature of Mom Earth is about 10 miles away, and the road keeps going—until you get to a point where it seems to end in mid-air, with no more continuing connections. For sure, it's the end of the World, I tell you. Maybe it's really just the county line where the road turns from asphalt to dirt in a T-intersection that's somewhat hidden by a slight rise, but it's still a cool visual feature. That's where one pees and then turns around, after talking to the horses. You can tell, I like my rides around here. Any place on Earth is only 3 miles away from here, honestly. Just ask all my buddies who used to be newbies at some point. Three miles, just about.

Thursday I'll take off for LA and the Pro XCT opener, a UCI race. The past week has been one of transition for me, a bridge and a buffer between my European sojourns and the looming race season. I'll have five races in six weeks, I think, and it'll be taxing in many ways. The past two months were too. I'm a lucky dog to have reconnected with so many friends, on various levels. And at the same time, coming home to Lubbock—and yes, this IS home—was just as gratifying, thanks to my buddies here.

Judy's been gone for close to half a year now. I miss her so badly, but at the same time I have not allowed the grief and agony to paralyze me. That was part behind my planning all those trips. It was either sink or swim. I've been doing the butterfly. Some of you may think it's been a crazy schedule—but it may have been what has kept me sane all along this path.

We'll see how the next six months will shape up. At least spring is here and my buddies are coming out in my front yard:

Judy's bulbs and gnome after yesterday's clean-up

And you thought the German fella had no soft spot in his heart....


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