Oh it’s all well and good to think that one is getting in shape for cycling by wandering through winter’s snowbanks to the local gym. Surely those sets of squats and a weekly spin class would have me in fine shape for returning to the bike come spring time.
In the blazing Arizona sun, at Saguaro National Park near Tucson, a large slice of humble pie was handed to this over confident Canadian.
I can not even claim ignorance for certainly I did not fall off the turnip truck of cycling just yesterday. Getting in shape for cycling apparently is best handled by …wait for it….cycling.
So under the unfamiliar heat of springtime Arizona I gasped and pedaled and did my best not to whine (Dave and friends will tell you I was not very successful) about the heat, the hills, the wind, my aching legs, the bumps in the road, my pathetic slowness….you get the pitiful picture.
And then the most amazing thing happened. A desert tortoise appeared on the path in front of us. These burrowing tortoises are rarely seen and yet this one crawled out in the mid day heat right in front of our bikes.
Likely the volume of my complaining had caused the poor thing to wake from the coolness of his burrow to see what on earth was going on in his peaceful desert. As the desert tortoise moved ever so slowly a smile crossed my face. Being slow didn’t seem to bother him in the slightest.
It is such extraordinary moments such as this magical appearance that make cycling something I love. Being slow or sweaty or breathless is irrelevant. Meeting the locals, whether they be human or the likes of Mr.Tortoise are gifts given to those who are willing to get out and explore.
Thank you for the spring tune up Mr.Tortoise. I appreciate the attitude adjustment.