Rides We Like: Paid Time Off Route
(2018) There is something magical about taking the day off to ride bikes. Sure there are weekend rides as well as holiday rides, but when it comes to PTO days, it means just a little bit more. Throw in some surprises by the road crews to hint at what is to come over the summer and this ride all came together so neatly.
The past few years have been quite busy around the offices of creakybottombracket.com. With busy-ness comes more scheduled rides and fewer impulsive rides. As the years go by those scheduled rides are no longer the hours-long jaunts around the countryside. They have turned into recovery rides or flat-out smash fests to cram as much into one hour as possible. Even more rare were the rides with the Missus who enjoys running for an hour more than riding.
So when I decided to opt out of work today, a ride came together that was like old times. The sun shone brightly around the route, the wind favored us for much of it, and the temperature was just right. We even passed two houses we toured when shopping all those years ago. The roads we used to hit regularly were waiting for us all these years later among the fallow farm fields and horse pastures. We even passed the same two cyclists twice on our route. The Missus stoked the boilers a couple times and rode race pace for a while.
I know what is so wonderful about Paid Time Off days: I glance at the clock with acute regularity and consider what the workplace is doing at this exact time. While I was directing our ride, miles away a meeting may have been happening. As I shouted out, ‘Clear!’ through an intersection, policy and procedure were possibly being reviewed at the job. Holidays are sort of like weekends; most people have them off too, which means the roads are just as busy. On a weekday the roads are quiet – barren almost – shortly after the morning rush and before the lunch break. I argue there is something inherently healing about existing in that sort of moment, to know I could have been somewhere else on this sunny and comfortable day.
Toward the end of our route we took evasive maneuvers to avoid a continuously declining section of road. Wouldn’t you know the road crews picked today to start maintenance on many of the roads were had selected to return? In any other circumstance there would be frustration, but today it was a sense of relief. Many of the roads being scraped are not even passable by SUV.
This is part enjoyment of riding with the Missus, but that would not have been possible if the other part – part enjoyment of having PTO – wasn’t in existence. The ride was just a little over an hour, the standard length these days. What was wedged into those sixty or so minutes was pure enjoyment. It hardly felt like cramming. When we returned from the ride we sat down to lunch. All I could think of is this was nearly the same time lunch happened at work. If I had played by the rules I would be dozens of miles away at work. One major difference is that I wouldn’t eat lunch in my cycling kit nor would the person sitting across from me.