I wasn't going to ride tonight, taper and all, but during the late afternoon I found myself caught up in a spiral of unproductivity and decided there's really only one way to break free of a spiral like that.
I only had time for the usual road climb, the one I do so often that I find myself racing myself ("Last time I reached the gate in 53 minutes. Have to hit sub-52 this time. Crank! Crank! Crank! Shoot, I'm under 8 mph again. Crank! Crank! Crank!") So, of course, I purposefully left my GPS watch at home. The weather was beautiful, 70 degrees and sunny. Of course, it's always sunny here. I have to scold myself for not appreciating the persistently blue skies more than I do, especially because I was sun-deprived in Alaska for so many years. But today I was genuinely grateful. The afternoon sunlight tinted the trees and pavement in rich, almost metallic colors, and there were vibrant summer flowers everywhere. How come I never noticed these along to road before? Oh yeah, because I'm usually going too hard.
Today, I just pedaled and smiled. It was simple in the most perfect way.