Spring is here.
It's obvious everywhere you turn in Nashville-there is much more green anywhere you look, the sun is shining, people are dressed differently and they're eager to get outside. If you walk down the street in our neighborhood, you'll see that people are just happy to get out.
Here in the shop, that means we're a bit busier, and we get to catch up with friends that we may have not seen since fall. The folks that come in usually fit into one of two categories. The first category is people that are looking to get outside more now that the weather is turning fantastic. Many of them have been looking forward to doing a triathlon this year, or riding a century, or just riding. They want to talk about getting started. It's fun to talk to those folks; their enthusiasm is contagious.
The second group is full of people that have been working their butts off all winter. They have goals in mind and they've been working towards them, in many instances since fall. They're a little more lean and muscular every time we see them. They've got an ironman coming up, or they're going to elite nationals in Kentucky in June, or maybe they just want to hit the spring races hard. We've seen a bit more of these folks over the winter. They come in because their bikes need maintenance after long trainer sessions, or because they want to talk bikes or training or because they just want to get out of the house and be around people. This group has a slightly different energy-they're getting excited because they've done a lot of work and the payoff is close. It's kind of like school, except in this case after all the hard work the exam is a bit more of a reward than anything else.
This weekend was the apex of the spring feel. Tons of new faces wandering in thinking about bikes for the first time. Racers coming in after having been down to Lewisburg to do a recon ride for the upcoming Hell of the South road race, or up to Madison to check out the Cedar Hill crit course. They want to talk about what might happen on race day-how they should prepare, what they should expect. Saturday morning we rode with a Canadian pro, fresh from two months in Tucson, here to race next weekend(that was painful). During the day, our friends Danielle, Jonathan and Rusty brought bikes in for a final check before their upcoming race in Texas-the first big race in a big year(Danielle is going to Kona this year).
Sunday I rode with some guys from the shop team, and afterwards I rolled around by myself for a while-it was one of those days where I just didn't feel like getting off the bike. So I just cruised around town for a bit, hoping my sunscreen was holding up.
I saw four or five big groups of runners out in the neighborhood. Our shop is on the Country Music Marathon route, and as the race approaches, we see more and more runners out running parts of the course. Yesterday was different, though. Eight weeks ago, when it was still cold and gray, I'd see those runners out clocking miles, bundled up, taking comfort and motivation from the group. They were out getting it done, but none of them would usually look particularly happy.
Sunday was a different story. Everybody had bare arms, legs and heads-and everybody was smiling. They were laughing and telling jokes-I could hear them a block away. They're close to the end of the journey; the end is in sight, and they're happy to be close.
Spring is here.
Regardless of where you are on your journey-nearing the end or just getting started-we're happy to see you and we're excited for you. To all of our friends racing over the next few weeks in Lewisburg, Madison, Murfreesboro and Galveston: good luck and good legs. We can't wait to hear how it goes.