Thirty degrees at 7 PM and snow appears on the roadside as I near Bogus Basin Ski Area. I have been riding uphill for 14 miles and not spied another cyclist, which is remarkable because there is always another velo enthusiast on this route. A vest, rain jacket, long fingered gloves, and cycling cap rest in my jersey pocket, ready to add micro-layers of protection during the thirty-minute descent. There is no official turn-around point on this ride. Temperature and road conditions are the guiding parameters. Finally, I encounter sheets of water running across the road and decide I do not need to be wet and cold, and the ascent stops and the return to the valley floor begins.
I have traveled this route over one hundred times by bike. Tonight’s effort stood out because I was alone and the temperature. It joined hallmark memories, like the thunderstorm that pounced so quickly that I turned around one-minute from the summit, afraid for my safety and without disappointment that I had not reached the top. Or, the time I loaned my jacket to a freezing cyclist from Arizona who rode up the mountain unprepared for Idaho’s fall weather. Then there was the cow that stood in the road on a blind corner. On the descent, I missed striking this oblivious bovine because I decided to try a different high-speed line around the corner.
The moments on edge are the ones that stand out. The ascents and descents that fall somewhere in the range of normal are forgotten, even when recorded in a training log. Our own edge provides a conduit into an inner conversation about what we value and believe.
Today, what opportunities do we have to visit our edge?