Sunday, June 22, 2008

Riding with the Orphans

Yesterday's ride was fun, if hillier than I remembered. The day started cool and windless - perfection for a ride. Susi took the fun ride, Sharon and Dee took the 27, I tackled the 44, and Helen and Di went for the 56. We all finished our rides in various stages of exhaustion. I had a momentary Hmmmm, considering taking on the 56 mile course, but immediately came to my senses. This was a good thing, as I don't think I could have gone much farther than my 44 miles. The 44 was billed as "hilly" and the 56 "very hilly". Those who took on that challenge reported back that it was very hilly indeed. One of the nicest parts of the BCH ride is that a nice long stretch of the course runs alongside Draper Lake. The cool temperatures and the light breeze combined with the beautiful quiet lake made for delightful ride. I even heard quail calling near the road. Then came the hills, and the day heated up.

Today Shana and I and a group of friends tried out a new sport - new to us, anyway. We went out mountain biking. There are some nice trails out near Lake Stanley Draper, near where I was riding just yesterday. What a challenge! I must admit my legs were still fatigued from yesterday when I mounted up this morning, but even had I been completely rested it would have kicked my behind all over the state. It was HARD! No action pictures of the ride, because I was struggling with the bike the whole time and could not spare a hand for the camera. I fell off twice (no harm done). I spent the first third of the ride jamming on the brakes trying to avoid running into trees, the second third trying out some of the skills I've been reading up on, and the last third panting and cursing under my breath, being too tired to use anything I was learning. My bike and I had some fundamental differences concerning which direction I thought we should be going. I had started out by reading up on the skills I would need. This is typical for me, being a long-time bookworm. It actually was useful, but I think the second read through with a ride under my belt will be more helpful. There is so much going on I had a hard time focusing. The bike was unfamiliar, the trail was new to me, and I simply do not have the strength or the skills yet. I think they will come, but it's going to take some work. There is also a parallel to trail riding on a horse - when you get done you have to clean up your mount. After I got home I had a bike wash going in the front yard with two mountain bikes and Big Blue all getting a good cleaning. We ended the ride with birthday cake and sandwiches, looking forward to the next outing.

The next organized ride will be the Tour of Payne in Stillwater Oklahoma. It's a good ride, fairly hilly, with great stops. Its the only ride I know where most of the rest stops are indoors with air conditioning and flush toilets! It's a tough ride in the heat, and my Goldilocks' choice of distances will be between a (too short) 36 miles and a (too long) 62 miles. It will be a tough choice.

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