Fall’s foreplay strikes again
Every fall, I fall in love.The other day I was riding my bike and swore I could see the colors changing right in front of my very eyes. The trees seemed illuminated as if the sun was breaking through the leaves instead of the clouds, lighting them up from within like thousands of tiny candle flames. But it was more than that. There was a light within me, too.No, I’m not going to become a born again Christian or something, give me a break. I just love this time of year. It always makes me feel light and breezy inside, alive, and just happy to be back in Aspen.I was thinking about that as Hot Guy No. 246 pedaled past me last weekend during the Ride for the Cure. They’d pass me one after the other, busting their nuts to finish the grueling, 100-mile ride that began at 7 a.m. in a 40-degree rain storm in the Castle Creek Valley. They cruised by like a great ass parade, flaunting their rear view (so to speak) in tight little shorts with cute logos plastered all over them. Those sinewy, shaved calves weren’t looking too shabby, either.Don’t be ridiculous – of course I didn’t do the whole ride. They have a shorter, later ride for people like me who just want to join the party without really having to do anything impressive. It started at 11 a.m. in Woody Creek, which was just enough time for me to sleep off all the fun I had the night before at the Jurassic 5 show at the Belly Up (hands down best hip-hop show I’ve seen since the B-Boys played the CU Field House in ’92).Ever since I dated a competitive cyclist in college, I am very anti-techie and don’t see the need to dress head-to-toe in spandex. I spent most the summer riding in regular shorts and a cotton T-shirt. I don’t care if I’m sterile because of it – I was trying to make a point.I wanted to bust out all the stops for the Ride for the Cure, seeing that it’s an event close to my heart (if you might recall, I actually did some volunteer work for Komen last summer and loved every pink minute of it). I wore this sporty hot pink tank dress and layered it with some black yoga pants (leggings are so in right now that it was actually a pretty hip look), a long sleeve shirt, and the pink socks they gave us in our goody bags. I looked pretty good if I do say so myself.I accidentally rode a section of the course that was for the 100-mile riders only. I wasn’t paying attention to the lady sitting in a beach chair on the side of the road screaming, “Thirty mile people go THAT way!” at the top of her lungs and pointing wildly in the direction I was supposed to go. It worked out fine because I got an extra six miles in and got to enjoy the amazing views in Old Snowmass (which was sort of where I was going with this whole “falling in love with fall” rant). But I started to feel a little guilty when all these haggard cyclists who had already been in the saddle for eight hours started passing me with mud up and down their backs from riding in the rain.So this guy with matching jersey and shorts rides up to me and says, “Nice dress. Are you doing the 100 mile ride?” No, no, I’m not, I explain. I’m just one of those lazy people who was just waking up when you’d already racked up 60 miles. He’s looking me up and down, and I’m waiting for his next line. I’m thinking it’s going to be something like, “So what are you doing after this?” or “Hey, can I get your phone number?”But instead he says, “That’s what I thought. You’re way too clean,” and rides off.At the top of the climb, there was an aid station with these hyper volunteers who started whistling and ringing cowbells and just going nuts when I crested the last hill like I was Lance Armstrong himself. “Good job! Way to go!” they cheered. They had a table covered with PB&J on wheat bread (my all time favorite thing in the world), Sun Chips, pretzels, and Oreo cookies. It was like someone had called my mom and said, “What does your daughter like for snacks?” It was awesome.The monks up at the Snowmass Monastery were cool, too, cruising around greeting everyone in their little cloaks. They all have these gray beards, long hair and baseball hats, sort of like Santa’s elves but bigger. I must say, they do seem like peaceful, jovial fellows, but there’s something about them that just makes we want to see what would happen if I casually mentioned I’d like to meet them up in the barn loft for a few swigs of whiskey and a little roll in the hay. What do you think they’d say? Those guys do make some of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. Heavenly!Even though my head was throbbing and ears ringing with the heavy baseline from the night before, I reveled in every minute of that glorious ride. There is just something about the fall that makes me stop and yell, “I love this place! I love my life!” at the top of my lungs – as long as I stop and realize that at least once a day, that’s all that matters.The thing I love most about fall is how it’s like foreplay. That little chill in the air tickles my cheeks and sends goose bumps down my spine. My beloved winter is so close I can feel it.The Princess should really think about going back on her medication. Send your loving e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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