Riding for a Reason

Changing the world, one mile at a time

Little more exploring to and from work with a new speed record!

Last Thursday was probably the coldest bike ride that I’ve ever been on. Since I’m working summer hours now I start work at about 7am. I aimed to leave the house shortly after 5am. When I woke up, I looked at the temperature to find that it was a sizzling 42 degrees out. I decided to wait a couple minutes for the sun to come up a little and warm things up. At about 5:30 I left the house and decided to grab a light coat to go over my usual cycling gear. About a mile into the ride I was starting to think that maybe I was a little crazy. I mean afterall, I could see all the frost on the grass as I rode by. My ears were freezing and the tips of my fingers were beginning to get number where my biking gloves did not cover them. I decided to ride down to Chicago Ave and if I still couldn’t bare it, I would turn back and drive my car into work.

Once I got to that point I was finally starting to hit a groove. I was warming up a bit and the sun was starting to come out. One of the coolest things I’ve seen so far in my biking adventures happened on this trip. As I was cranking through the bike path, I came around a corner only to find a decent size doe hanging out on the bike path. I slowed down almost to a complete stop as we stared at each other. I started to weigh my options. I could turn around and go back to Lake Dr. and come around, but that probably would have taken an extra 30 minutes since I was pretty deep into the bike path. I decided to just go all the way to the left and hopefully the deer wouldn’t mind. She kind of hopped off into the grass so we were both in the clear. What a beautiful and breathe taking sight though! It’s pretty amazing how close you can get to wildlife when you’re on foot or on a bike.

This time when I got to St Francis I veered right to stay on the bike path where last time I went out to Lake Dr. This ended up being an awesome descent right along the lakeside with the sun shining over the lake. The view definitely overshadowed the fact that there were several occasions where I was holding my breathe so I didn’t inhale any knats. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the ride now. Not to mention the fact that I’m pretty jealous of the people that live in the new condos right there on the lake. Their pool is even lakeside!

Another thing that I noticed was that a lot of people have very consistant workedout routines in the morning. I’m starting to see some of the same people at the same spots in my ride. Being a people watcher in general, this kind of intrigues me.

The way home was a pretty good ride and definitely much warmer. I can start to feel it in my lower back as I’m closing in on the last 3 miles of my rides heading back south. There is definitely much more of an incline coming home than going to work. Which I think I’d rather have it that way since in the morning I’m still kind of waking up on my ride in.

Friday’s ride turned out to be a beautiful day. It was a little chilly in the morning so I wore my jacket part of the way until I got warmed up. On the way to work I reached a new personal best for speed. There’s a great hill that I usually try to top out at. This time I hit 27.4 mph! My next goal is to hit 30 mph, but I might have to do it on a longer hill with better pavement. At work, it was my first half day of the summer, but I’m going to try and ride every Friday as long as the weather’s nice, becuase I don’t have to rush back after work. On the way home it was in the mid 70’s. Unfortunately I forgot to pack my short sleeved under armour, so I was stuck with my black long sleeve shirt. After the ride I realized just how much sun I can get on a bike ride since I had a big tan line between where my gloves ended and my sleeves started! Anyway, I met up with my friend Erika who had just moved to Milwaukee from Madison. She lives in Bay View, so we met up for lunch and then I showed her the bike paths along the lake. I also showed her Grant Park and we found where the beach is. The water is never really warm enough in the summer that you can be comfortable swimming in it, but it’s still a pretty decent beach. We ventured around about 4 miles more than my usual commute home, but it was a perfect day for it.

With my usual 33 mile round trip and the additional 4 miles, I biked for 70 miles on Thursday and Friday. That brings my YTD total to 174.55 miles or 34.9% of my goal! I should reach this in no time! My next ride I will officially have put more miles on my bike than the original owner. And I’ve only had the bike about 2 months! Woohoo!

The next 3 days should be a pretty good challenge. I’m biking to work the next two days (tomorrow there is a 30% chance of rain in the morning), then Saturday I’m getting a group of people together to ride north along the lake for about 20 miles. Looking at about 90 miles in the next 3 days. :o)

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June 10, 2009 - Posted by | Cycling | ,

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