Monday, May 31, 2010

I am so lucky.

Before I get to why, let me say thanks to all active duty military folks and veterans. Without you, I wouldn't be free to be so lucky. You guys and girls rock!

So for the holiday, I decided I would do my longest ride to date. I planned on a 40 miler. I got thinking about how lucky I am. I have a bike trail across the street that offers an 8, 11, 15, and 26 mile loop as well as several 10 mile out and back spurs. Right across the street! The trail also leads to some nice single track areas about 3 miles away. Since I started tri training, I've been neglecting the mountain bike. I need to change that.

For this ride, I decided to take some pics. Many of them are while riding, including a couple of myself. I was a little worried I would drop the blackberry, but I managed not to.

Some areas are heavily traveled but after a couple miles it's mostly corn fields and road bikes. This pic below is of a sod farm. If you can grow nice grass, you can make money. My friend pointed out my yard isn't very nice, so I probably won't be a sod farmer :-).

Southern Illinois is mostly flat with a breeze from the West and lots of isolated thunderstorms rolling through. This thunderhead looks like it may move over me during the ride, we'll see. I don't mind getting wet, but really don't like biking in lightning.

There is a nice looking lake about 1/3 - 2/3 of the way through the loop depending on which way I ride it. I took the easy way today. Wind at my back for the long West to East stretch. I really should ride it the other way more. My first two Sprints had a stiff head wind on the way back.

About 2 miles from home, it did start to rain. No big deal, just meant I needed to spend a few minutes drying and relubing after the ride. My teenage son decided he wanted to do something with me today, so I gladly cut the ride short at 26 miles so we could hang out. We had an awesome day at the city museum. It's an indoor/outdoor park where you climb up, over, through, under all sorts of obstacles. We had a blast.

Back to being lucky, I have a YMCA in my neighboorhood that has a nice pool. Cheryl works there, so I get a free membership (that I didn't do anything with for 10 years). So this weekend, I ran the 8 mile loop, did 2000 yards in the pool, and road the 26 mile loop, all without any traveling. As a triathlete, I consider myself very lucky. I should have started tri training 10 years ago. Oh well, better late than never.

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