birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Yellow Jersey

The day is dawning. I stretch thinking to myself I need to get up my bike awaits me.

So many thoughts are rolling around in my mind for today I ride in the Tour de La France.

My training has been rigorous, but I think I’m prepared to capture a yellow jersey.

Thinking back to the days when I first started riding, it seems so long ago. Oh, how I hated hills. Today I’m about to tackle mountains. The goosebumps run up and down my arms.

I roll out of bed and quickly shower. There’s no time to waste. I need to get myself in the right mental state for this leg of the tour. It will be a tough day, but with each passing day it only gets tougher.

Arriving at the starting line I pause a moment to soak in the other riders and the colorful jerseys all around me. I have been riding for years, yet this moment is always my favorite. I have worked hard to be able to compete in the tour.

My teammates and I have a great starting position, not right at the front but close enough.

The adrenaline begins to flow, the gun sounds and we’re off. The start always leaves me leery as everyone is trying to get into their preferred position. I never want to be the leader rider at the start. I would prefer to draft and save my energy for later.

Finally, we have positioned ourselves where we want to be, the oneness with the bike begins to takeover. We are rapidly approaching the hills. We are taking them with ease our vigorous training has paid off. Our team is still holding onto our position, there are two teams slightly ahead of us. The climbs become steeper. We’re beginning our downhill descent. The end is near.

I’m up with five other riders. We are all together. I can see the finish line, the sprint begins, my legs are burning, my lungs hurt, I’m ready to get off the saddle but I must first complete what I set out to do today. I begin passing. I’m now in third place, we are approaching the final two curves. The pedaling cadence is like rushing water. My entire being is screaming, my mind is fighting back, peddle faster the finish line is within grasp, one rider stands between me and the finish line. I’m almost there.

Standing on the podium, the yellow jersey on, I’m lifting my flowers. What a great day this has been. I am smiling, I feel so happy inside

I awake with a warm feeling. It’s time to get going, my bike awaits. There’s no time for roll over sleep. I need to get on that saddle, I need to train, winter has been long and unkind to my waist line. I need to get toned so my clothes feel looser than tighter. I haul myself out of bed. I look at myself in the mirror and smile. I just won the Tour de La France. Bike riding for 50 miles should be easy for a Tour de La France yellow jersey winner.

Lucy and Ethel

NCIS Junkie