I suspected that I’d experience post-flèche fallout, and over the last two weeks I’ve been proven right. The energy expended from 24 straight hours without sleep, 232 miles of pedaling over sawtooth terrain from Pittsburgh to D.C., and rough overnight conditions complete with snow squalls took their toll on my body.

I was unable to savor the ride as I hoped. Monday after the ride found me back at the office. It played out like many post-randonneuring event conversations go. “How was your weekend? You did what?! That’s crazy.” And back to work you go, with too much to do to revel in your everyday superhero story.

Tulip and Quickbeam

That’s alright. Work is another world, and I don’t expect people in my “regular” life to understand the significance of my rando rides, or to give me any pats on the back. Still, I longed to linger a while in the afterglow of accomplishment.

Because the leadup to the flèche – as well as the event itself – were so tiring, I made time to savor my flèche memories and relaxed into simple easy commutes over the last two weeks.

Morning tulips

Instead of thinking about when I would ride next, my priority became when I could find time to daydream about our flèche experience and how fast I could put my head on the pillow. I ate lots, and indulged too much in sweets. My stomach didn’t stop saying “Feed Me” until the middle of last week.

Instead of taking the long way to work, I took time to commune with the blossoms of spring wherever I found them. Mornings are the best hours to soak in the bright beauty of the season in our city, although the golden hour before sunset has its moments, too.

Tulips at sunset

Leisurely morning commutes and rest were exactly what I needed to rekindle my desire to ride. The first warm sunny days of April didn’t hurt, either.

Jump for the tulips

I contracted tulipmania, a seasonal sickness caused by a severe addiction to spring that can only be cured by watching the last tulip petal fall. In between bouts of tulipmania, I sat beneath the kwanzan cherry trees.

While surely there must be a limit to all the flowers an individual can delight in, I’m still searching for my personal threshold.

Quickbeam and me - Golden hour under the kwanzan cherry

This past weekend, Felkerino and I ventured out to Sugarloaf Mountain for a weekend century, our first ride of any distance since the flèche.

My legs felt lively once again, and I savored a day in the saddle. Tulipmania had served me well. I rested and recovered. Now we’re ready to embrace the next long ride.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for posting as it was an enjoyable read. Like you I always look forward to Spring as it makes my early morning bike rides so much more enjoyable. I am definitely a morning person and I feel so sorry for those that aren’t as they miss the beauty of the day and perhaps more importantly in this hectic world the sound of silence. Enjoy your future rides. Oh and just in case you are aware of the web site crazyguyonabike aren’t you. If you aren’t then please look it up as Neil is doing a great job in running it.


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