Guardian Angels


June 2011 – Guardian angels. That must be it. Jon Smith, promoter of the Cycle Salt Lake Century Ride (CSLC), has to be the most fortunate promoter around. His event has not had bad weather for as long as I can remember. Jon says it has been 15 years, and that each year he sells another small piece of his soul to insure a good day for us riders.

Salt Lake Century Ride
A view from the road at the Cycle Salt Lake Century. Photo: Dave Iltis

So it was that this year, the most beautiful day of this elusive spring, sandwiched between a seemingly endless string of rainy days, also happened to be the day of the CSLC. 0ver 2000 of us showed up, hungry to soak up the sunshine while putting some good miles on our bikes.

For many of us, the CSLC is our first major ride of the year, and the event that motivates us to get going. It is also a time to meet, greet and hook up with old cycling buddies. This was especially true for me this year. In December, my wife and I purchased a new home, or rather an old home in serious need of attention. As our home of 30 years had not yet sold, we were content to stay there while working on our project home.

But by the end of January, the project was demanding more of our time, some of which we had been devoting to our spin class. And then, at the beginning of March, our home went under contract, and we only had a month till we had to move. Our immediate focus, and big push, was to sufficiently finish the basement so we would have a place to which we could move.

So that is how it happened that the last time I rode a bike of any kind for nearly three months was on February 3rd . It was not until the third week of April, when we made a trip to visit two of our children living out of state, that I finally sat my hiney down on a bike. And while it may have disagreed, the rest of me, physically and emotionally, was grateful.

Indeed, this was the first time, since I took up cycling as a regular hobby, that I had missed more than a couple of weeks on a bike, and even that was rare. And as I have finally been getting back in the saddle more regularly, I have realized how important cycling has become to me, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

So the CSLC was especially welcome this year. Not just to get me going for the cycling season, but to pull me out of a funk I had fallen into after three months of not riding. I began looking for opportunities to ride, squeezing miles in between the onslaught of storms and the accompanying rain and snow, to prepare for the CSLC.

By the time the CSLC was here, I had still not logged enough miles to take on a full century. But I did get in 75 miles, and it felt good. I rode with good friends, and was able to visit with old cycling pals. My mind, body and soul are rejuvenated. And I have the CSLC to thank for getting me back in the groove.

Thanks Jon for a great ride. And thanks to your guardian angels, and the little bit of soul you surrendered, for this year’s rare and wonderful weather.

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