The Next Season Looms

Tim Speciale - January 14, 2020

The only thing I can hear is air moving. Air moving past my ears, and air moving in and out of my lungs. It's rhythmic and controlled. It's meditative. For the first time in a few months, I'm yearning to start it all over again. It's time to start rebuilding the machine. The next season looms...


It’s cool out and there’s a dampness in the overcast air. It’s not raining, but it feels like it just was – or it just might. I’ve ridden up this mountain 100 times.

Lookout Mountain is the perfect backdrop to the small front-range town of Golden. When you’re on top of Lookout, Golden is the perfect backdrop to the mountain. It’s not all that steep and even at full bore it’s about 20 minutes long which allows you to do damn near any workout you need on it. At times in the season I’ll do three back-to-back 20 minute efforts up it a few times a month. I know the road well.

Today I’m not training, though. It’s September and my season ended nearly two months ago. I don’t need to ride today, I’m riding almost out of habit. It’s cold and damp after all – not exactly the type of day most normal people envision being a good day for a bike ride. That’s because normal people haven’t fallen in love as hard as the rest of us have.

An overcast day has a certain character to it that I love. It’s not the type of day that invites hikers and sightseers. It’s the type of day in which people can lounge inside and catch up on The Office free of guilt. The moisture muffles the sound, and because no one is around the sound is minimal. It’s dreary, quiet, and lonely which makes it the perfect day to let my thoughts wander.

In the thick of the race and training season, there isn’t as much free thought on a bike as you might expect. Most of my rides are specific workouts. I’m either thinking about the looming work, I’m in the middle of the work, or I’m crawling home afterwards. This is what makes the post-season ride special. There is no purpose except to enjoy the ride. These rides are there to remind you why you ever started racing in the first place.

I haven’t shaven in weeks and the hair on my legs has returned to a normal length. Normal by most men’s standards anyways. For me the feeling of the wind going through my leg hair is foreign, but it is visceral. The coolness of the moisture and wind blowing through this godawful forest nudges me to ride faster. To push just a little harder. The only thing I can hear is air moving. Air moving past my ears, and air moving in and out of my lungs. It’s rhythmic and controlled. It’s meditative. For the first time in a few months, I’m yearning to start it all over again. It’s time to start rebuilding the machine. The next season looms…


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