Got out for my weekly ride this morning. I didn’t plan a route out ahead of time, I just went with a vague idea of heading north instead of my usual route south. One good thing about this area is there are only so many roads, and they generally connect with something you know eventually so you really can’t get too lost. Therefore, I fearlessly set off for parts unknown. I tried to leave early to get done riding before most of the recreational traffic hit the roads, but didn’t get out of the house until about 9:20. I wound out through more farm country, north of Highway 26, and it was pretty quiet for the most part. I did get passed by a double flat-bed semi going through the only real curvy part of the road (naturally). That was a little scary. I saw lots of other cyclists out on the road, and without fail, every single one greeted me with a smile and a wave, called “good morning” or “heya!” or all the above. People just seem to be in a good mood on a bike, at least today. Maybe I should check my horoscope 🙂 I was about an hour into the ride and circling back to my starting point, but decided I was nowhere near ready to come home, so I headed on down my usual ride on 219 to Burkhalter. I can feel I’m getting stronger, I’m doing much better on the hills. Coming up Rood Bridge another rider on a racing bike passed me but smiled and said “good morning” before leaving me in the dust. Seriously, he was almost out of sight in just a couple of minutes. While he was just a little ways in front of me on the road, I tried pacing him for a minute, just to see how hard he was riding and it was only a minute before I gave up! He was like one of the Tour de France riders, legs just pumping like a machine. I don’t know if I will ever get to that point.
I wanted to add that just as I was nearly home, I cut through the park by my house, and was rolling along very slowly to avoid running down some pedestrians, and a family with young children. One of the teenage girls in the group was pulling a cooler on wheels along, looked like they were having a family picnic. She watched me slow down and wait for a skateboarder to ride on by us all, and as I started to go around she pulled a couple bottles of water out of her cooler and asked if I needed some water. I politely declined, but I thought that was awfully nice.
By the time I got home, I’d been gone almost two and a half hours. And whaddya know, the keys I had double and triple-checked to make sure were in my pocket… were the wrong ones. I had taken my bike lock keys, no house key. There was an open window in front of the house, but too high for me to try climbing in without having to find something to stand on. Instead of letting the neighbors know I left a window open, I called my son to get his housekey that he has. Back on the bike, another six miles roundtrip. I was amazed at how much energy I still had to ride over there and back. I’m wiped now. But a new distance record for me, 33 miles! And close to three hours in the saddle. I may not be able to sit for a week.