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Rhythms and Roads, Rhythms and Roads [Manuscript Monday]


Hours slip further into history, faster than ever before. It is the ninth day on the tour and they are learning how to manage muscles, bones, bodies more effectively.

            “Drink before we are thirsty,” Louis says. He has been saying it every thirty or so minutes.

            “Eat before we’re hungry,” says Michael.

They cram granola bar wrappers into their jersey pockets.

They follow route 145 north east alongside the river they slept in front of the night before. The chopping body in the night now seems docile and light. The name of the road they are on is “Railroad avenue,” which looks about right. Tracks might have run alongside this river.

Two hours and they are incredible. Their day off has brought life and strength back to their youthful muscles and they feel they can ride for days on end. They could ride all the way home and back now. This is adventure. This is vitality, survival. They are conquerors.

They stretch along the road for ten minutes more out of rhythm than necessity. Eating while riding, every hour on the hour, has also become rhythm. Water every ten minutes, a rhythm. Pulling for each other by trading off each mile is a rhythm they know without needing to speak. Talking to strangers, a rhythm. Sharing hopes, goals, desires for life when the road gets flat, a rhythm.

The road into Telluride is hillier and and far more serene than expected. Upward strokes, around and around, foot after foot in gains with each turn of their cranks. Though, this present arduousness is an after thought in comparison with the deep greens of the pines in their arrays along Railroad avenue. They are far above the river now, and suddenly the road comes to a crest.

Louis pulls off to the right and comes to a natural slow upon a gravel shoulder. A descent lies before them that seems to jut deep into the valley and off to the right around a bend, out of view.

They do not speak but watch as the clouds move in herds above. They billow and take mighty forms. There are pockets of sunlight piercing through and placating a huddled army of trees like thousands of hungry soldiers awaiting long overdue rations. They seem to hold up what arms they hope to have to the sky and wait for rays to break through the blanket and ignite their bodies. From this peak they see dozens more. Up, and down again is their fate, slicing through the cool Colorado summer air forever. 

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