Before we reveal the winning story in our Scattante Stories Giveaway, we wanted to share a few of the other stories that we thought were great. It was a really hard task to pick a winner from all of the fantastic entries that were submitted, so we just have to share a few of the very best with all of you. First up is Aaron, who wrote about that feeling of having a perfect day in the saddle:
The day started well before dawn. I drove into the elementary school parking lot greeted by volunteers holding flashlights waving me to my parking destination.
I could see the excitement in the faces of my fellow riders despite their bloodshot eyes. We walked into the school auditorium and had more volunteers pin our bibs to our jerseys. After eating my fill of muffins and bagels I took my bike to the starting line.
It’s best to ride with a group in these events. Not only do you have the opportunity make new friends, but you go a lot faster in a pace line. I found a group leaving at the same time as myself and tagged onto the rear of their line.
The route took us uphill almost immediately and I was please to see that my level of fitness would soon leave my pace group behind. After a few miles I had left them and found myself playing mind games as I struggled to catch another group that was some distance ahead of me. The weather started to change as we ventured toward the coast and I was grateful for my arm warmers.
I finally reached the group that was led by some skilled riders. I settled into the back of this line only to find about 5 rider just behind me that were unnoticed yet had the same intention of myself. I guess I had been leading a group for a short while and didn’t realize it.
Now I was in the middle of a large pace line and I suddenly remember why I love this sport so much. My cadence was perfect and settled into a rhythm that was not too soft or too hard on my legs. I looked down at my computer and found I was going 25 mph while expelling relatively little effort. The roads were wet with the pre-dawn dew while drops of water fell from the eucalyptus trees on all sides of us. Our group, now led by what must surely be accomplished racers, rounded a number of corners while maintaining their speed and cadence.
The less experienced riders in the group, myself included, slowed down in fears of crashing on the apex of each corner, only to quickly play catchup realizing that our caution was unwarranted. As we continued forward I could feel the gentle sting of the dew in the air slap against my skin. I looked down and saw I was covered in beads of water.
We pushed through a number of corners now in perfect cadence to the rest of group and found ourselves in the second large climb of the route. Like a well choreographed dance troupe we jumped off our seats as the syncopated clicking and popping of gears gave our intent to overcome gravity and fly up this hill with the power of muscle and our will alone.
I was forced to hide my shameful juvenile grin as I found myself passing other riders racing for the top. My heart raced from the effort and excitement as I realized this hill had nearly killed me just 1 year before. Near the top, I took stock of condition and found I was saturated with water and sweat. Then, on cue, the sun opened up and revealed itself and the blue sky. Very few times in my life have I felt so great. Today is a good day.