Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back on the trail

I think it has been 2 years since I last grabbed my bike and went for a ride on the trail along Lake Michigan. I am not sure why I had stopped. Why I had traded in a Trek for a stationary bike and reality TV. Guess it was simpler.

I am glad I got the bug in my head. Or should I say my mouth. The bug in my head was the urge to get the bike out, fill the tires with air and go ride again. The bug in my mouth was what happened after riding for just 3 block. I figured at roughly 12 blocks per mile and 11 miles to ride, I was going to swallow about 10 bugs. Yum!

It didn't take long to get used to the bumps along the trail. Before I began the ride I was dreading the hills along the way. There are really 3 big ones. But there are a lot of slow inclines that you don't notice until you hit them and are pumping your legs like mad as you downshift.

The first 2 hills were a piece of cake. Number 1 is especially easy as you get some good speed going down a hill and can easily grind up. Actually it is easy because it happens right away and you have all kinds of energy. The second hill can be the worst as it is the steepest and come about a mile and a half later.

It is the last hill that is a real bitch. Not only is it a short steep hill but at the stop you make a 90 degree turn and then the climb continues up. This is after riding for about 9 miles. Energy is spent. Plus the wind may be blowing against you making you cuss out its existence.

The trail itself hasn't changed much. I noticed a couple differences. Branches were hanging low. I assume budget cuts are the cause. Not a big deal as you can duck your way through. They also removed the exercise equipment that was probably installed in the 80s. You know, the pull up bars, sit up station, etc. They did install some route markers counting up the miles. Now if only I knew where #1 was.

The people on the trail were interesting. For once I didn't feel out of place as the only one riding without a helmet. I'd say roughly half the riders did not wear a helmet. If you are on the road I can understand riding with one, but on a trail, you are more likely to come around a blind turn and get freaked out by another rider. Then you'll kiss a tree head on so a helmet won't protect your body.

I did notice some interesting women. Came around one turn to see someone walking towards me. At a distance I thought it was some dude walking with his shirt off. As I got closer, I saw it was a woman wearing a flesh colored shirt. I was happy she had that shirt on. Could have been scary.

The other was was rather well endowed. I like how she leaned forward giving a view. I rode away thinking that was a nice bike rack.

The one dude that cracked me up was the husky guy with the tattoos. He was riding a dirt bike that was a bit small for him. I laughed as it looked like he was depressed that someone took his Harley away from him.

The ride today was nice. I look forward to making this a daily trip once again.

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