Yesterday was a wonderful day full of sunshine and cross-country skiing adventures. Today was a day of soreness as a result of the skiing. I used a lot of muscles I don’t normally use. Today we returned to the dense cloud cover and a grayness closing in on our world.
I live for the chance to be outside in the winter. But I do admit that sometimes it takes awhile to get motivated to get out. With the gray day, my muscle soreness, and our lack of snow and cold, I was having a hard time deciding what to do today. Finally, about an hour before sunset, I talked myself into taking the Pugsley out in search of some snow to ride.
As usual, as soon as I got out and started to move under my own power my spirits started to lift. The temperature was an unseasonably warm and balmy 30F/-1C degrees.
When I take leisurely rides I always ride from my house. I rarely throw a bike in the car and drive somewhere to ride. Today I headed for the Western Water Front Trail. A hardpack gravel multi-use trail that weaves in and out of the bays and inlets along the St Louis River. I rarely ride this trail. However, it is particularly interesting in the winter. It’s not groomed or tracked. It’s packed down mostly by the local residents who walk their dogs on the trail. It’s open only to walkers, hikers and bikers.
I reached the western end, turned around, and started back. That’s when I started to notice this:
The sun was setting. It had discovered a small opening in the clouds and was peaking through onto the under sides of the cloud cover. For the next five minutes the skies were completely magical.
I hadn’t seen anyone while out on the trail. It almost felt like I was the only person seeing this wonderful display happening right before my eyes.
And then as quickly as it started, it was gone. I was speechless watching the spectacle. When the sky returned to gray, I turned my pedals toward home with a feeling of intense joy inside.
All I could think about was how I would have missed that five minutes of joy if I hadn’t gotten on my bike and gone for a ride. You just never know when something magical is going to happen.
I finished the ride in darkness with my thoughts on the five minutes of light that made my whole day.