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When long, hard days in the saddle are delayed for somehow longer, harder days at my desk, the rollers are my savior. During the seasonal marine layer of June gloom, my cabin in the treetops usually sits just above the clouds. Some thousand feet below, it’s a brisk, foggy day at the beach, but up here, it’s warm. I used to ride the trainer in the basement, but what a waste, riding in a dimly lit room next to the litter box when I could dust off the aluminum rollers and watch the birds bicker.
I take my bike onto the deck to ride the rollers for 30 minutes between calls. And thankfully my ASSOS DYORA RS bibs spare me the modesty panel so popular on other women’s bibs. It’s warm here, and with the blow-dryer-like heat of the Santa Ana winds as my only fan, I don’t need extra fabric. I lean on the railing to get into position, and then it’s off to nowhere, as my cat and dog splay out safely a few feet away.
The whir of the bike matches the bees in the surrounding tree canopies, and I get to space out, moving in place, until the phone rings. Work. But at least there are good breaks. At least there’s the bike. And while it’s not the same as riding outside, it is still, at least, “riding outside.” And luckily I can count on the chamois to stay in place, despite all my micro adjustments trying to keep myself and my bike even on rollers on a very uneven, rickety deck.
The stress evaporates, even when I know there’s more stress inside waiting. More crisis communications. More development meetings. More and more and more Zoom calls. But out here, in my spandex outfit of bibs and a sports bra and shoes that never get to be shoes, there’s just the sun in the sky, the bees in the trees, and the uninterrupted hum of my favorite pair of wheels.