Eight days of riding. 434 miles. 44,000 vertical feet. Five more days to go. Sore legs. Sore butt. I again ask myself, "Why do I do this?"
A rest day is a good day to think about answers to that question. I've mentioned a few in social media posts this past week: being enveloped in spectacular mountain scenery that one crawls by and through, rather than whizzing by in the enclosed space of a car; feeling young at heart (if not young in body); the thrill of the descent that is immeasurably sweetened by the effort one has made to get to the top.
But there are more, and one of the main reasons is because I'm with a group of people with whom I've shared memories over the course of the past six years. A group of people who knew Mark, who shared riding experiences with me/us in Corsica and southeastern France. It's been fun to laugh and reminisce, to savor and appreciate.
|Mark and me in Corsica|
|Patti and Ross in France. They've been on all my Erikson tours.|
|Me and Mark outside Gourdon, France in 2014|
|Tom and his niece, Heather, in Annecy, France in 2014. Tom's been on all my tours.|
|Playing boules in France, 2014. Mark, Tom, Michelle and Galen.|
|Mark in the Vercors, France, 2014.|
My last post was about looking but not finding meaning in memories embedded in places and people. In contrast to my experience in Pau, being with this group of people for the past week has gladdened my heart and I have found richness and sweetness in shared memories. I'm grateful to be here. For the beauty, yes. For the thrill of the descent, yes. For feeling young at heart, yes. But more than all of that, I'm grateful for what this group of people and I have shared together and what we continue to share.
|Tom (right) and me with Jeff and Sylvia. They're from Salt Lake and were on the 2014 tour with us.|
|Sylvia with Glenn Erickson, founder of Erickson Cycle Tours.|
|Tom and Heather.|
So, is it worth it? Yes. The sore legs and sore butt and sore back are all worth it. Just to be here. To experience what I'm experiencing. But. I am SO grateful for a rest day.