At last...our long-awaited burst of sunshine! A real honest-to-goodness 80+ degree day, and Oregonians were out there, pale and squinting hard in the unfamiliar glare of the sun, determined to be outside and enjoy this rarity. Cyclists were certainly out in force...there were some organized rides going on today, but many of us just went out on our own solo rides.
Sometimes it’s nice to just go out on a ride and see where it takes you. If it’s hard to make up your mind--country roads or city streets, hills or flat, east or west--it’s fun to be a little spontaneous and just let the bike take you wherever. That was how today’s ride unfolded for me. It was sort of a smorgasbord of everything.
What a difference a sunny day makes when you’ve not had one in months. It felt good to climb hills in the heat of the sun and feel my body's temperature rise. It’s not the same as climbing on cold days. I could feel the rays of the sun reach all the way down to the pavement and bounce back up, too. Even the strong headwind coming down the flat open stretches was warm, somehow making the effort to go fast more enjoyable.
There were some nice sights along today’s ride, too. Sunshine just spruces things up anyway, but it definitely causes you to notice more things. The mountains are finally visible again, completely white from heavy spring snows, which are already creating huge runoffs and near-flood conditions in the valley.
And tucked in alongside the industrial park area in Southeast Salem, I realized that I’ve been ignoring a very nice wetlands area. Duh.
Welcome back, sunshine. Stick around awhile, would you, please?!