Sunday, August 9, 2015

I Always Forget Until I Remember

I always forget how much I enjoy riding my bike outside, until I actually do it again.  Up until last week, my bike hadn't seen the light of day since the Pewaukee Triathlon last year.  Yes, you read that right. I haven't had my bike outside in over a year.

Usually the only time I have to ride is after dark, and the weather here is not bike-friendly for about 8 months a year, so I'm generally relegated to spinning in place in The Cave with a movie on in front of  me.  Last Monday night, Mr. R&R and I both made it home from work at a reasonable hour and decided it was a perfect night for a bike ride.  We changed clothes, hauled our bikes up from The Cave, pumped our tires, made sure we both had flat kits and fully charged cell phones, and took off.

It was weird remembering how to actually balance my bike and how to clip in and out at corners.  It came back pretty quickly along with a reminder how rough road riding can be on the...ummm...lady bits.  Overall, the ride was pretty slow, but it was fun.

Time: 38:13
Distance: 7.06 miles
Avg. Speed: 11.1 mph
Avg. Cadence: 73 rpm

The ride had us both in a multi-sport mood, so we switched shoes and headed out for a 1 mile run.  The jello legs were definitely there, but I rocked that mile out in 9:01 and it reminded me how much I miss multi-sport racing.

When the weekend rolled around, we both wanted to ride again and preferably somewhere we've never been before.  Enter: The Ozaukee Interurban Trail. This is another old rail trail that runs from the Northern end of Milwaukee County (Brown Deer) all the way to Sheboygan. The best part?  All 30 miles of it are paved!

After a false start (we took the wrong trailhead), we rode through a bunch of little towns and generally had a good time.  I was grateful for the 'warning: poison ivy' signs in the early miles.  I was annoyed when we lost the trail for a bit in Cedarburg (seriously...the trail wove through a couple of parking lots).  I nearly lost my shit when there were 6 stop signs in a quarter mile just after Cedarburg.  I fell in love with the trail just North of Grafton when the trail passed by fields complete with a herd of grazing cows and a little donkey.

We turned back at the 15 mile mark, even though everything in both of us wanted to keep exploring and stopped at a gas station for a water refill and an absolutely delicious cruller.   I'd forgotten how much riding makes me want to eat all the food!

Time: 2:33:46
Distance: 30.24 miles
Avg. Speed: 11.8 mph
Avg. Cadence: 70 rpm

The following weekend we wanted to ride another trail, so we headed for the Glacial Drumlin Trail.  Unlike the New Berlin and Ozaukee Interurban Trails, the Drumlin isn't an old railroad bed, so it offers a bit more in the way of elevation changes as it winds its way West.

The Drumlin actually runs over 50 miles between Waukesha and Cottage Grove, but only the first 13.5 miles are paved and road bike tires + crushed limestone = no bueno.  When we reached the end of the pavement neither of us felt quite like turning around yet, so we rode a few miles along a county highway before heading back toward the car.

We were both running low on water and were really happy to see that a young guy had set up a table full of cold bottled water alongside the trail and was refilling people's water bottles!  I've heard the term Trail Magic used in conjunction with long distance trails like the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, but never the Drumlin (which is also part of the Ice Age Trail at one point)!

Once the hydration issue was solved, we found ourselves ravenous and stopped at a little trailside coffee/sandwich shop called Mama D's in the town of Wales.   Mama D's is super bike-friendly (multiple bike racks out front, lots of yummy-sounding food/drink options, and no one looked askance at two sweaty people wearing spandex and clomping around in bike cleats) and the sign out front made me smile.

We both opted for the box lunch: choice of sandwich, chips/fruit, a bottle of soda/water, and a cookie.  It was all really good and the peanut butter cookie was the size of my face!

After wolfing down our food, we were ready to ride the last 7 miles back to the car.  Unfortunately my Garmin lost the GPS signal while we were eating, so the ride was not recorded as a single activity.  This really isn't a big deal, but Garmin tracks personal distance records and this ride was going to be one! The final miles flew by thanks to a nice energy burst from lunch and before I knew it, I was using my water bottle to hose all the trail grime off my legs before we headed home long enough to clean up and drive out to Maverick and Goose's house for an evening of beer, barbecue, jam-making, and a bonfire.  Note To Self: Clear Calendar of Social Plans After Long Rides.

One of these things is not like the others.
Part 1:
Time: 1:58:45
Distance: 28.35 miles
Avg. Speed: 14.3 mph
Avg. Cadence: 78 rpm

Part 2:
Time: 26:33
Distance: 7.07 miles
Avg. Speed: 16.0 mph
Avg. Cadence: 78 rpm

I'm so happy that I've rediscovered how much I enjoy riding and hopefully there will be a few more adventures on it before summer comes to an end.


April said...

It's always nice to get back to something you love doing. Makes you wonder why you don't do it more often.

Anonymous said...

Jam making!? But yes I agree, I try not to have plans after a heavy dance day.
And we are getting a bunch of rail trails up here in the 'Dacks! I can't imagine riding that many miles! I don't even like to drive that far. Lol

Mary said...

I completely agree with you, April. I can't wait to ride more - and farther. I think I want to do a century ride next year if time/training permits.

And yes...jam making. Maverick gave us a jar of some homemade lower sugar raspberry jam a few months ago. When I called to ask for the recipe, she invited me over and gave me lessons! It's super easy and when the stash in my freezer runs out, I"m making more! Seriously, I want nothing to do with the store bought stuff anymore!