Once again, timing was on our side. A few minutes after we parked our bikes, the skies opened up in earnest, and it poured for a good 20 minutes. We ate our lunch and our donuts and enjoyed the down-time as the rain came down. And just as we were finishing up, the weather accommodated and the rain let up.
Everything before Afton was just a tease, a warm up, a punchline where the joke was 'you think *this* is hard?'
Climbing back on the bike, we set to roll for the last bit, that turned out to be the most significant piece of the day.
We took our pictures, savored the scenery one more time, and moved on. Yet, this is a moment that will live with me forever, sharing space with finishing a marathon, my first triathlon, graduating college, and more.
The three other riders in my group came and went, we would roll past each other, then get passed in return. We chatted some, but mostly rode in silent contemplation.
There were still 3 or 4 more miles to go, and it was still rolling hills, so the challenge didn't end at the pretty view.