Last Thursday I went all in and cleaned a particularly gnarly climb for the first time. Shortly after that I found myself, lactic acid searing my quads, hammering three abreast across a long, empty, ridge top in the clear evening air. The speed, the night, and the companionship were Japanese in their ephemerality.
When we parted a little later and I rode the final two miles home alone, I was, to steal a phrase from Nora Jones, “as empty as a drum.”
My grin lasted two days.