i heart winter rides by mj

02-10-08-trek-on-bridge.jpgWith a few non-bike related items on my agenda for the weekend I missed out on the sunny and comfortable weather that came through on Saturday, and left my schedule open for a nice long ride in the high winds and low 20’s to teen temps on Sunday.  With most of my outdoor riding only during the weekends lately I just wanted to get outside for a little bit harsh winter or not, so I bundled myself up like the kid on A Christmas Story, took a few layers off so I could bend my arms and legs again, and headed out to Alameda for my normal loop.   I parked in town and along side a building that protected me from the wind, but hearing it whip around was a little intimidating as I gathered my things.   Headed out and up, up, up into the cemetary as usual.  A great start to get the pumper going strong and warm ever02-10-08-alameda-trail.jpgything up.  The trails were much softer than I expected and with my legs feeling heavy due to that lack of trainer time this week I used my granny gear more than I’d want to admit.  I was not even in the trails for much more than 15 minutes and I had to shed a layer so I wouldnt get to sweaty while I was out.  Thankfully the only time I felt any harsh wind was the stretches of road I take to get to the next section of trail.  The woods were cozy, calm and breath taking as usual.  After reaching what I consider my turn around point I started back into the direction of my car considering a new route to add onto my normal finish.  However, once I reached the intersection left turn equals longer route, right equals back to the car I decided for the right turn and end my ride on a good note.  Felt good.. not too cold.. lets call it a day while I’m still smiling.  I’m wheeling through the streets of Butler when my bike felt a little squirrely for a moment and I realized my back tire was going flat.  I stood up to attempt to take some weight off the back end and my thighs gave me a little shout out telling me the 2.5 hour loop was more than enough.  I go a little further and decide to hop off before I damage the rim riding on pavement.  I’m amazed that I’m only about 2 blocks from my car.  Thankful that I’ve had little need to practice my trail-side maintenance skills in all my riding, I knew I could get back to the car in less time than it would take me to unpack my stuff and succesfully fix anything.   Definitely still another great ride where I put the rest of my busy life on pause, share a little time with mother nature (I LOVE being out there!) and enjoy the simplicity and happiness is brings me.  Happy Trails…

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