The day before... Checking weather reports, and packing bags. Running out for those last minute items - stopping at bike shops and food shops and the general store. Wrapping bars, changing tires, filling flasks. It's a routine, a ritual, and while these tasks were once a last minute stress, they now calm nerves and inspire.
Checklists? Check. Dinner done, and the storm rolls in. Once again we'll rise early, and be on the road with the sun. Although it's unlikely we'll see any of it. Instead, a thick downpour of rain will greet us - the promise of mud, of bogs, of soggy slopes. Tomorrow is such a day as will eat derailleurs for breakfast, and make a mess of us all.
We flock to it ~ for this is the stuff that cross is made of. Fitness be damned - I'm gonna ride.