Monday, April 14, 2008

Bike Therapy

Temperature at departure = 29° F (-2° C)

I'm not looking for any sympathy, but I will lead off by saying last week was NOT a good week. Yesterday I was pretty much hanging in there by a thread. Even though I knew it would be cold this morning I packed up to ride today; bike riding days have been far and few between the last several weeks and even though I'm going to be riding about 4x my normal distance today ... I just needed to get out on the bike.

There are lots of reasons to ride your bike, most of them sound very altruistic ... but I do it, primarily, because I enjoy it. This morning's ride turned out to be just the therapy I needed. I'd chosen the route with the help of Google Maps Street View and had even test ridden the route Saturday before last. The first leg the route utilizes 5.5 miles of the Indian Creek and Turkey Creek paths and 4 miles in traffic, most of which is residential. There was one half mile stretch on east bound College Blvd. up to State Line that includes a 29% grade. Since my test run was on a Saturday I was running a little lighter and had less traffic to worry about so I ended up with an average MPH of 14.8. I was not in the mood to push myself this morning.

Other than the above mess on the path detour just west of Metcalf, the ride on the path was beautiful. In the 5.5 miles I rode I encountered two joggers, four deer and nothing else. I took my time. When I reached College Blvd. I forgave myself for riding up the sidewalk to State Line. Here's the deal: I would have been riding straight into the sun and am sure that the rush hour drivers coming up from behind would never see me. Rationalization? I don't care, in this case I felt it was better safe than sorry. Two cross walks and I was into the residential stretch. As I locked the bike up I realized that I'd been passed by one car, shared the path with two joggers and waited at a stop sign for one car turning left. Not bad for 8.5 miles during Monday morning rush hour. I also noticed that my average MPH was only 12.6. I didn't care, I feel better now than I have in a week. Don't know what the day will bring, but I'm ready to face it.

BTW: I am SO looking forward to the 29% DOWN grade during my lunch journey to the office. During the test ride I hit 35.5 MPH without any effort. I may put some effort in today and see if I can hit 40.

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