I got up this morning and knew I had to get on the bike. It’s September and I no longer have any excuses. I’m still getting back into shape so I decided to do a short ride into Elyria, where I was born, and visit my sister. I got ready and made sure I had both my water bottles and had a small breakfast an hour before (not making the same mistakes from last ride) and was out the door. As soon as I hit the porch I realized how hot, humid and windy it was. A part of my wanted to go back into the air conditioning and practice my guitar. After a few seconds I decided it was important to Harden The F**k Up (H.T.F.U) and get on the bike.
It was very windy and I was able to cruise easily at 20 mph or more. I drank a lot of water and enjoyed the ride. People passed and nearly everyone gave me a lot of room. I got to my sister’s house in record time and had an iced tea and a slice of low-carb pizza.
I owe my sister a great deal. When my brother and then my mother were dying she helped shoulder much of the responsibility. I had the time to run people to the doctor or chemo but she did much of the heavy lifting.
After a nice visit I headed back and found the wind that helped me was now in my face. It was brutal. I just put my head down and kept pedaling. I am getting more fit and could feel the difference. Into the wind I rode between 10 and 12 mph. That was ok and about four miles from home I took a five-minute break to drink more water and rest. I got back on the bike and within 100 yards a tan dog appeared and was running alongside my rear wheel. It wasn’t chasing or any problem, just running beside me. After a half mile it ran into a yard, then appeared again at my wheel for another half mile. I didn’t know what to do. I stopped and tried to shoo it away but I couldn’t get it to leave. After another half mile I hit a patch of trees blocking the wind and sprinted. It wasn’t much of a sprint getting up to 16 mph but it was enough. The dog stopped and a little ways down the road I looked back and it was just standing there looking at me. Then it turned around and ran back.
The ride was 26.6 miles and was very enjoyable. I really want to ride every day in September. It will get easier when the humidity passes and when I drop some more pounds. The metrics: