Today, I’m taking you on a photo tour of the Del Mar stretch: Four miles of road many cyclists use to train because traffic is minimal. And, the poet in me likes being surrounded by nature instead of the usual urban fare served up alongside roads.
This is Eunuch, an Orbea Alma Silver and my baby. When it came time to buying a bike, I knew I wanted something powerful and light. With a carbon fiber frame and Shimano XT components, Eunuch was–is–the bike of my dreams.
At the beginning of the ride, I passed this guy. Don’t know his name, but he’s beautiful to look at nonetheless. I hope he’s there to meet me at the beginning and end of my rides for many years to come.
As I pedaled along, my eyes were drawn to a red spot among branches. I neared the tree and discovered it was my favorite bird: the cardinal. I smiled. There were usually only grackles and sparrows bickering on power lines and fences to liven up the monte canvas. But today, there was one dot of red amongst all the black and brown feathers and grey sky.
At about two and a half miles, I approached the part of the ride I dread: the Del Mar Hill. This hill will get your heart pumping and the calories burning. No matter how hard I try, I can never pass my husband on this hill, and today was no exception. But I still chugged along, breathing, “Push, push, push,” as I climbed. Near the top, this creature was tucked into a hole in the fence.
I’d never seen her before. Maybe another cyclist needed motivation to reach the top, and he/she placed this monkey as a sign that the end was near and to just. Keep. Pushing. And I did. I pushed and pushed and pushed and conquered.
After the top, I had a little over a mile to finish the stretch, then turn around and ride it back. Believe me, the view from the top of the hill was welcomed much more than the view from the bottom.
I’ve always said the ride down the Del Mar Hill is the closest to flying I’ll ever get, and today’s ride cemented that belief. My ship whipped around me as I bent down and let gravity do its thing.
I had a surprise waiting for me at the end of the stretch. The longhorn was still there, but he had a friend with him.
They weren’t willing to let me take a full-on face shot, and I wasn’t willing to wait around for them to be willing. My stomach grumbled. I was hungry! And there’s nothing like a good breakfast to motivate you to finish the ride, load up the bikes, and head on home!
Tomorrow, I’ll hit the off-road trails, something I think Eunuch enjoys much more than the Del Mar stretch. After all, that’s what he was built for. Deep in my soul, in my bones, I believe I was built to run, and slowly, with Eunuch’s help, I’m getting there.