Wow, I got a crazy workout yesterday. I’ve been lamenting the last few weeks that I’ve gained weight instead of losing it -go figure, I stop excersizing and gain weight! The weather had been crappy, everybody in the house had been sick for some interval, and my motivation levels were way down. I pulled out the Wii the other day and told myself I’d start using it regularly again, but I only did it for about two days. I’ve been telling myself that I ‘ll aim for two days a week, as a sort of initial goal, but the beautiful weather inspired me to ride my bike again.
After probably 4 months of searching for the harness to attach my wire bike basket, I found it this week and put it on the bike yesterday. It works really well, doesn’t inhibit my maneuvering at all but adds a lot of weight to the front of the bike. It really only seems to be an issue when I’m trying to use the kick stand and leave the bike. It falls over pretty easily -but I now have more storage capacity. The basket has a quick release, too, so I can take it off and carry it if I want to.
My bicycle gang/friends were at the McDonalds nearby when the in-laws came to get the boys, so I rode out to meet them and we embarked upon what would turn out (for me) to be a 14.5 mile ride. We rode past the grocery store and then through a neighborhood with a park that was right on the bike path going East to Rock Cut State Park. As we rode we all enjoyed the mild temperature and the smells of burning leaves and autumn air. The dam was beautiful, although the park was literally bustling with people, and there were really nice cameras everywhere for me to lust after. We managed to pick up some litter at the park -and also carried our own litter in my basket until we found garbage cans for it all.
There were a few moments when I thought perhaps my overburdened heart would burst out of my chest or my lungs were going to seize up and kill me -it’s not easy keeping up with guys who are a little younger and in a lot better shape. I did not give up at any point, though, unless you count walking up really steep hills. My bike chain and derailer are both seriously rusty and in need of oil or grease, so it is sometimes really difficult to shift into the gears I need to make it up a hill. In any case, we ended up in the older portion of the park and found one of the really old shelter houses to take a break in. I’ve been trying to research whether or not this one was built by Roosevelt and the Civilian Conservation Corps, but I’m not having much luck. Any ideas?
Once we made it to just about the highest point in the park, on an old roughly paved road, we turned around and sped down the hills that had taken us probably 20 minutes to get to the top of. I was a bit scared of the speed initially, as we lined our bikes up at the top of the hill and took a picture to immortalize the moment. It turned out to be less frightening than I had anticipated, despite the patches of dry sliding leaves creeping across the road in some places and the gravelly landslides stretching across in others.
On our way back Mike called and informed me that the kids were home and we were out of diapers, so I actually stopped at Logli’s and picked up diapers and a few makimoto rolls from the fresh sushi bar there. It felt kind of awesome to bring home necessities in my new bike basket; but not nearly as awesome as it felt to have biked 14 miles without keeling over when I haven’t been on a ride even a fraction of that length in a couple of months. It all makes me a little sad that winter is at our door. Saturday night I ended up having a fire out in the back yard and the kids got to enjoy a little bit of the outdoors despite all of us still hacking and coughing up crap from the colds we’re all recovering from. After they went to bed some friends came to join in and all in all it was a very pleasant evening. I ended up admitting to everyone that I was having a Halloween do-over since I’d been sick for the actual day. I guess overall I’d have to say this weekend was a success. I even got my van started! Tuesday morning we’re going in for a diagnostic to see how much it’s going to cost me to get this vehicle in working order for the winter.
Halloween itself could have been more exciting for me, as I stayed home that evening instead of going out, but the kids had fun trick or treating and friends came over to keep me company with the Beatles: Rock Band. Bastian was a Grim Reaper type character, but his mask got annoying and he ended up just walking around in a black tattered robe. Charlie had chosen the fire fighter costume, mostly for the hat, and he ended up in the stroller by the halfway point. Still, we did alright on candy and the moon was nearly full in the sky which made for an awesome spooky night sky. I miss October already!