It Feels Really Good When…
- You try on an outfit you had put in the back of your closet because you didn’t feel you looked your best in it, and this time not only does it fit but you love the way it looks.
- You go out for an athletic adventure, one you’ve done before that is indelibly marked on your conscious as “difficult” and you get through it in record time and seemingly without as much effort.
- You get to spend time with the people you care about most, doing the things you love to do. That never gets old.
And one of the things I love to do with those I love is ride my bike.
Spending last week alone with the small one while the tall one was off camping in the woods was great. Spending most of this weekend alone with the tall one has also been great. But the weekend started off a bit rough. Friday afternoon I went to get my hair “done” then dropped the small one off for her church retreat weekend. Once home, the Hubs decided we should try to hit one of our favorite locally owned restaurants, The Pantry. The line was to the door and there wasn’t a parking space left. So we drove around for 45 minutes but every one of the restaurants we went to was packed. Back at The Pantry for another try, there was an hour and a half wait. We went home and ate sandwiches instead. Of course IF we had just waited at one of the first stops, we probably would have gotten to eat around the same time but we kept thinking something better would pop up. Isn’t that the way it is, we spend a lot of time not doing or enjoying what’s readily available while hoping that something better is going to appear out of the mist.
Saturday morning the Hubs went out to do press for Arkansas Outside on a cold early morning run put on by a local running club. I stayed home to clean the house. Fun. I hate to admit that I had no knowledge of this great local race series, but why would I? I’m not a “runner”. Upon his return and tales of the race, I have to say I am disappointed that this was right in front of me all these years and I didn’t see it. One of those things that’s right here and not taken advantage of. I think I might have to join in for the next one or two.
The afternoon weather forecast said it would be in the upper 50’s so a bike ride was in our afternoon forecast. We got a little later start than we wanted but managed to fit in a 20 mile ride in 2 hours with one break for photos. The route for this ride is 99% dirt or gravel road with several steep and/or long climbs. It’s a fantastic workout. About miles 4-6, the road follows a creek through the forest, it’s just beautiful scenery regardless of the season. J was riding ahead of me so I whipped out my phone and snapped this photo.
The first time I rode this route was not long after I bought my first mountain bike and had only just begun riding. I thought my friends were trying to kill me. We had to stop several times to rest, I had to walk some of the tougher hills, I was in misery. I admit that my “trail memory” is terrible. I tend to remember trails in very general terms while my husband has almost a photographic memory for them and will say things like “you know the turn right before that rock that looks like a gorilla?” Um no. I don’t. This is a real shortcoming if I want to ride alone or lead anyone, but it’s great for staving off boredom. Every ride is like the first time. So I have a general remembrance of these roads and knew there was a long climb coming with a lot of turns and false tops that has made me want to puke, pass out, or both. At some point I ask the man “hey, are we coming up on that nasty climb soon?” He said “Yes Lisa, we’re in the middle of it now.” What? Okay so my fitness must be alright at the moment, I didn’t come close to puking or passing out. Or really even getting winded but then that means I should have been riding harder and faster.
The last couple of miles is a sweet downhill bomb. There is really nothing like riding down a gravel road at 25-30 mph with nothing between you and massive head injury but bike handling skills and a plastic bucket on your noggin.
The Ride. 19.3 miles, just shy of 2 hours of riding. Beautiful views, perfect weather and an afternoon spent with the one I love, and on my bike. It doesn’t get much better.