So last Friday Jenna (my daughter) decided to try lunch bunch after preschool. So now dropping her off I would have 4-1/2 hours (vs. 2-1/2) to get things done. The weather, which has been getting warm for November, was cooperating and the high of 50 was at noon. I decided to head out on the bike and rack up some miles.
I drove to Beatty Town bike path and started there. In my first 5 miles I had spotted 7 deer, maybe I should say they spotted me and scurried away. The sun was shining, it was going to be a great day. I really wanted to get in 80 miles but I started about 20 minutes later than I wanted and it was going to be close. So I start scooting down the path, paying attention not to go below 20mph... with all the crossings and slowing starting for the intersections I had to cross, at 30 minutes in I'm over 10 miles in... keeping the pace at one hour I was at over 21 miles (which means I was over 21 miles an hour), so I was back on track to hit the 80 miles I wanted.
As I was riding through Xenia and winding through the intersections I started to realize this could be one of the last outdoor rides of the year. Did I want to spending it head down, pounding away... or sit up and start counting the deer again. I chose the later. Sometimes speed isn't what you need.... you just need the sun on your face and the smile of each mile clicking by....
So now settling in I ventured farther than I had been before on the bike path. I saw the Beaver at the Beavercreek bike path station, the back side of areas I had only seen by car whizzing by at 35-40mph. I road next to Route 35, the north up the back side of Harshman... getting a little freaked out I ended up turning around. I was in the same neighborhood that my Mustang had it been gutted when they stole the stereo many years ago. If something happened now there was so many miles to get back home... it would be a LONG walk.
So on the way home I started seeing more and more bikers, runners and walkers. Each had that it's great to be outside smile on.... I wasn't the only one enjoying the weather. It's days like this you have to take advantage because you don't know when the next one would be... I ended up with 53 miles that day, but the sun therapy was worth that ten fold.
As it turns out Sunday worked out the same way... nice and warm - mid 50's by 1PM. Time for a ride. A small group met at the bike path on Villa road and we headed out for a ride. We went from Urbana to Catawba and back to Springfield... hitting tons of hills along the way. 1300 feet of climbing in 40 miles. Very nice. I have a great team, each person is a blast to ride with... one of the newest members this year is my wife Carisa. I cannot believe how well she is doing. I think her running shoes hate me. Ever since I reintroduced her to the bike, she has not had the same love for running she once did... sorry shoes!
Carisa had ridden mountain bikes with me back in the day... then 11 years ago Freddy came along. Carisa got more focused on work (to take care of the family) and riding just seemed to stop. Life moved on. I kept riding but Carisa ended up moving to the treadmill to get some cardio. I think that is where is all started for her. Slowly, each year becoming more and more. Then just last year Freddy and I had been riding the tandem and pulling Jenna in the trailer, Carisa was on her hybrid path bike. She decided that maybe she would like to get back into it. Luckily for me one of my good friends from back in the mountain biking world had a road bike he was no longer going to use as it just wasn't for him and next thing you know Carisa had become a road biker in March of this year.
Riding with her has been a blast. She kills me with her drive and her desire to get better. Let me describe a situation that has happened more than once this year. We are out on a planned ride, and 3/4 of the way through she looks at me and says lets go farther.... I look at the water bottles and snack supply and try to figure out how to make it happen. She's crazy like that. I think the most memorable one was in June when we headed out on a Young's Charity Training ride. It was supposed to be 60 miles.... that day she added enough to make it a Century (100 miles). When she decided to make it longer we hit the last rest stop in Xenia (42 mile mark) and loaded up on water and snacks. I had miscalculated the mileage we needed so when we got back to the car we had 92 miles..... I told Carisa head back out on the bike and I would pick her up with the car when she hit 100. I gave her all the water I had left and she took off. I drove ahead of her to pick her up and she road past me like a Champ. She needed another 3/4 mile. She looped around and came back with 100 miles. I was amazed. She did this only months after starting to ride. She is stronger than she will ever know... she has the drive. I was so proud of her. Thanks for being a great motivator and my riding buddy, I can't wait until next year!
That is all I have for now.... Thanks for reading my rambling..