Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunblock and black coffee

Sunday morning I was up at dawn, walking the dog and brewing coffee as cool night became deep blue morning, filled with birdsong and the promise of a warm spring day. Black coffee and oatmeal were followed by a liberal application of sunblock, with its heady and evocative smell.

Salt, honey and walnuts in the oatmeal, another swallow of black coffee, sunblock caking my arms and face ghostly white, more coffee, a few sips of electrolyte drink from my water bottle to make sure it tastes just right, and I loaded the car with a full stomach, blinking sleepily into the sunrise.

An hour later (and another cup of coffee, half a bagel, and a fistfull of pretzels) I parked at the foot of the mountains, tasted the air and squinted at the clouds, made some clothing decisions, and swung my leg over my bike and clipped in.

Clif bars and electrolytes had to sustain me for the next few hours, as cloud shadows chased me up and down mountain roads and past green-gushing, rock-filled rivers of snowmelt, through fields of late-winter dead grass and early-spring riots of blossoms, under speck-vultures circling in the bright sky, past herds of unmoving cattle, mile after rolling mile after rolling mile.

Afterwards, at home, I unloaded the bike off the car, carried in the empty coffee mug, and raised my dirty arm to my nose. Yep: still smelled like sunblock. I love it.


Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this, but all that coffee is probably just dehydrating you. And you know that coffee producers regularly dilute ground coffee with copra, feathers, pig crap, and dirt, right?

Mr. Anti-Coffee

S R Wood said...

This argument would be more convincing if Mr. Anti-Coffee didn't go around complaining about being sleepy all the time.

And luckily I drink enough water to be over-hydrated for most of the ride. Though I will say in summertime races I switch to tea!

Babs said...

It just doesn't get better than that--except maybe the biking up steep mountain roads and over root-covered, rock-strewn trails. I like the scenery!