It’s Saturday, which meant it was time for another long ride in preparation for the big ride coming up next month. J. was leading the same ride as last week, this time with an extra loop to get the mileage up. I woke up to sunny skies out my bedroom window, warm in the sun, so I put on not-enough-layers and sunscreen before heading up to the farmer’s market to meet today’s riders. Some coffee and pastries and we were off, retracing last weekend’s steps. Oh, it was a wonderful ride. It was so, so much easier than last week, I think because I didn’t have to waste any energy on the I-hope-I-can-do-this-what-if-I-can’t-do-this business, and also because I’d gotten enough sleep and eaten enough breakfast. It was colder and windier, but the company was delightful and the skies were just the perfect shade of blue. I saw all kinds of things–that one hiking spot where J. took me and S. that one time, safety cones keeping nothing in particular safe, tributaries of the falls, the bare remains of last week’s deer carcass, a taxidermied collection of Eastern Maryland’s Native Fauna, mansions, mansions that are actually apartment buildings, some impressive calf muscles, flag footballers, cherry blossoms, squirrels, hawks, and a few inches in front of me as I slowly by surely made it up 2,100 feet of elevation over the course of the ride. I snapped this picture at one of our stops. J. was getting coffee, B. was eating cinnamon bread, and I was looking at these trees against this perfect sky and those twin trucks carrying their load of safety cones. If I’d moved the camera just a bit, I could have had a shot without such obvious signs of people, or I could have cropped them out, but this captures what I mostly saw today: a whole lot of pretty and a whole lot of cars I had a whole lot of faith in–if they don’t go around, we don’t get to ride our bikes again. The ride ended with hot dogs and, for me, a macchiato before one last big hill and then a fly down Roland Avenue to home. I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a Saturday, and it’s springtime–so, so many sunny Saturdays ahead.