Sixty here I come !
The goal of the day was to ride my age in miles, by myself, on my birthday, on the Katy Trail !. A good way to start the next decade. Time to reflect on the past.
The weather would be a factor and I was soon to find out the road surface would be a factor as well.
The dampness of the trail was apparent.
But I was off and as I was recalling the early years of my life as the miles clicked off, I soon encountered obstacles to overcome. Obstacles to overcome, just like in life.......
I rode over the Interstate Highway and stopped to take a picture. I thought it was a perfect metaphor of how .... some people go faster than others....
As with life... there is always "another obstacle" to overcome, though some are easier to overcome than others. I encountered a number of fallen trees and branches. You always need to take care overcoming the obstacle so you do not create more issues.
The smaller branches needed to be avoided when riding as they had a tendency to get in the spokes or flip up and cut my legs. After the recent storm, there were a lot of branches down.
First Stop, Pilot Grove:
As with life, the first 12 years/miles went by fast... and were fun. Even though it was a bit of an uphill climb, it was hardly noticed. oh if life would be that easy and fun. The scenery is so beautiful on this stretch. And the birds..... they were everywhere and singing great songs.
Then came the 'teen' years ........................
Followed by the early miles on the trail of life, full of ups and downs, .................... Time to recall the events and the people associated with those years.
.but oh the views......
... and the sites
and the experiences along the way.
At 30 miles....half way there !
Now is the major decision time.... where to go and how to get there.....
On this journey, it was an 'out and back' so I needed to decide when to turnaround. I felt good, but I was hungry. If I kept going, in 6 miles (about 1/2 hour) I could eat, rest, then start the journey back. But that would put me at plus 70 miles for the day. If I turned around at 30 miles, I would be eating in about 2 hours, and would not ride much more than 60 total miles. The decision process is always interesting......
....and in the decision process, you are always hoping that you will make the right decision.....
...... because after that, it is really just water under the bridge.
I decided to continue on before turning around ..... only to change my mind after another 1 1/2 miles after I saw mile marker 222. A quick calculation showed me I would be short on time if I continued. So I turned around and headed back.
Eight miles later.... now really hungry, I started the 40s.
In the 40s it started to be hard ! Each mile felt like it was uphill. Going uphill was slow. Going down, really fast. When in the slow speed mode, the feeling was more depressing... and things seemed to hurt with every push of the pedals. Downhill was better, a bit of a euphoric feeling. Even when the ups and the downs are the same in miles, you spend more time pedaling up the hills. And not being in the right frame of mind and hungry, it was a slow struggle. (and in reality, it WAS uphill !)
I needed a boost !
I found my boost in the way of a cheeseburger in the early 50s of mileage. A great place and nice people.
now feeling refreshed, the riding to 60 went by fast and it was enjoyable. It is amazing what a bit of a rest and a cheeseburger will do for your energy... and ease of riding.
It was exciting approaching the 60 mark. I saw a turtle crossing the rode and I usually stop to take a picture and move them off the trail for their safety, but instead I told him to just carry on, As with life, as you get older maybe it is best not to interfere. Anyway, I was on a mission!
I rode past a wounded bird that was walking down the trail and it was struggling to get out of the way,... and as I rode past the wounded bird, I wished it luck, as there was not much else that I could have done anyway.
At 58 miles, a stick went into the front wheel, then came out and I noticed that the speedometer/odometer had stopped. "NO .. Not NOW" I yelled out to nobody ..... I stopped and I was able to adjust the attachment and things started working fine once again. Oh the little things that make you panic.
A few minutes later..... the odometer rolled to 60, I felt good. I paused for the photo... I felt good about the ride and myself. But the ride was not yet over.... not until I got back to the trail head....
But the next 3 miles went by in the blink of an eye.. such is life.
Riding and Life are good !
Overall, it was a great ride on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I averaged about 11 miles an hour... not fast but enjoyable and on the wet road surface not too bad. The Surly LHT is not fast, but very comfortable I have about 10,000 miles on in since buying it almost 4 years ago. Just a great bicycle for me. .
My Salsa Fargo may have been a better choice for the ride with the conditions. I could have used fatter more aggressive tires with the condition of the trail surface. But I wanted to do this ride on the Surly LHT.
It was a strange hot day.... about 80 degrees but about 75% in humidity. I brought 4 quarts of sport drinks and lots of water and nearly went through them all. .... but really needed more food.