Sunshine Roller, Sunday Macchiato
Highway 30 on a long Sunday. Sal is breaking legs in the Master B category out at Sauvie Island and I’m late. Too late to see him finish but just in time to hear the grand retelling.
The after-race part is always better anyway.
My kit is Super Relax and despite the fact that it’s Sunday night and tasks are stacking up like towers, I can get on board with that peaceful, easy feeling.
Later we will ride bikes across the neighborhood for an outdoor dinner with friends and then we’ll move inside to the television where Ray Liotta will marry Karen, sleep with Janice, get punked by Tommy, and bury Spider. We will leave just as he begins to develop a healthy coke habit.
For now the sun is warm-but-not-hot and the pavement on the new Sauvie Island bridge span is buttery smooth. Out at the farm the little racers make on a course that they call a Kermesse but is best explained as a farm crit. Fast packed dirt roads so of course the roadies will dominate.
Sal turns on the diesel engine and makes the new S-Works a proud new lover underneath him. Mitch wins. Ron wins. Kristin takes second. PV colors all over the podiums.
Riding home I am happy to train alone with semi-trucks buzzing uncerimoniously past. Highway 30 heading back into town is fast and effortless. I am lost in my cadence when I hear the click of gears behind me.
A racer boy. Small, with a pair of racing wheels strapped to the back of his pack. It’s the "I rode to the race" look that wins me over every time. I expect him to pass me with a nod and hello but he doesn’t. He pulls up alongside.
This town is small enough now that I can generally shake out a point of connection with bike people in under three minutes. This person knows that person who knows this person. It’s ridiculous and, after a while, wonderful.
His name is Sam (he knows many of the boys from my team, broke his collarbone in the big crash at the State Games on the track earlier this year, and just moved here from Eugene). We chat until my turn for the St. Johns bridge and then he glides away, a set of fast wheels and a big bag piled on top of a small body and equally small bike.
He is gone and I am climbing. There’s wind ripping across the St Johns Bridge as usual and the descent down Greeley is wide open and fast. Heading up Ankeny I admire the long, tan legs of a girl in shorts and cowboy boots who is wrenching on a workstand just outside the Citybikes Workers Cooperative.
The macchiato from Stumptown on Belmont is perfect – smooth, short, nutty. It’s soft in my mouth as I stare outside the front window in funny shoes that make me stand on my heels.
I used to dream about this – about this very feeling – standing in this exact coffee shop, post-ride, with a silky macchiato on my lips.
Back on the bike, 34th Avenue is an old familiar friend that takes me home.