Sunscreen in the Morning

All slathered up with sunscreen this morning, I launched a bike ride back through the seasons – from a warm morning that felt like summer but was really just spring, up east through town to the mountains, circling ’round the back to the road that winds up to the ski lifts. From green trees leafed out in the valley, to the first signs of spring in the low parts of the high country, to deciduous trees up high waiting for their turn.

The ski lifts are long shut down, but there still was snow in the shadows on the north facing slopes – gritty, filthy snow, barely deserving the name, but snow nevertheless. I was overdressed when I left – long tights and two shirts – but was glad when I made the turn and began riding back down, hands hard on the brakes and chilled in the wind of the descent.

It’s my birthday this week, and it is becoming my custom to celebrate by riding my age. Forty five miles right now didn’t seem like much of a challenge, so I added a mountain and some extra distance to this year’s effort to make it feel like a deserving birthday ride. It was worthy.

I love the smell of sunscreen in the morning. It smells like … summer.