As difficult as any day in the saddle is, it packs its share of exhilarating moments. Downhills are an everyday pleasure, both reward and time to acknowledge that Oh My Goodness I’m Flying Through The Most Breathtaking Scenery, Again. And in my American-borne quest for a unique life, there’s also a satisfaction that few have savored this pleasure.

Each day I wake up before dawn, to make the most of the cool morning (as sunny midday biking is a lot harder.) Depending on my altitude, I’ll start my morning either in a Cloud, above it, or below it. Maybe fog or mist is more accurate, but in any case it’s wet, and collects on my face, arms, legs, and drips from the tip of my nose and helmet. If I’m starting high, I’ll see it from above, enveloping the valley. I’ll descend into it, through it, and emerge below it to enjoy the clear views of the river cutting the landscape in half, and then (if I’m unlucky) I’ll start climbing up into the cloud again. By the time I reach the next summit the sun has vaporized it and blue skies appear. Even though I’m a just tiny mouse in the unspoiled scenery, sometimes I feel like I’m playing with the elements, slowly but surely changing the weather around me…


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