(April 24th, 2021)
We started the fair-weather season off with a much anticipated sixteen-mile roundtrip picnic ride to Jordan Park, a pleasant little county park located eight-miles northeast of Downtown Stevens Point.
As we gathered at the shop, I could tell the energy amongst the group was amplified; after all, most of us hadn't ridden with each other for what seemed like forever.
The sun was struggling to poke through the clouds, creating the illusion of perfect spring weather just out of reach, but that wasn't going to diminish the groups' morale. We rolled out around 11:00 AM in a solid mass of tires, getting our multi-wheel ethics back in order. The first long straightaway allowed faster riders to break loose from milder-paced folks like me. Two groups formed, and everyone enjoyed the gabfest and surplus of witty jokes along the way.
Once we arrived and parked our bikes along the shoreline of Jordan Pond, we enjoyed scenic views while devouring our picnic lunches. Highlights included hanging with fourteen fantastic humans, badminton shenanigans, and utilizing nature when nature called.
After relishing the much-needed facetime and filling our bellies with homemade cuisine, we began the journey home. While rambling west, the headwinds picked up and the temperature dropped. We powered through shivery gusts, tucking behind friends like a roadie squad working together to accomplish our goal. Most of us cut the conversations short and concentrated on keeping our legs spinning. Still, I noticed Alisson riding carefree into the wind, leading a portion of our group to our left turn due south; if you didn't know, Alisson is a badass. After rounding the halfway point and being shaded by a long line of tall pines, the energy shifted back to laughs and the usual social chitchat as we continued back home.
I had an overpowering sense of delight on this ride. It's something I felt on all the group rides we've hosted, but it was much more meaningful this time. I guess a year away from the Stevens Point cycling community, and a simple ride to a park with friends can certainly put things into perspective.
Thanks for getting me back in the saddle again!