Monday, September 2, 2013

In Which Fine Weather Aids Weekend Rides

Mayors' Bike Ride 2013Mayors' Bike Ride 2013Mayors' Bike Ride 2013Mayors' Bike Ride 2013Mayors' Bike Ride 2013Mayors' Bike Ride 2013
Mayors' Bike Ride 2013Mayors' Bike Ride 2013Mayors' Bike Ride 2013

Amelia inspects water in Dry Creek during our trail bike ride Saturday morning. My hand is not waiting to grab her, I was shooting right handed, and it makes my left (dominant) hand nervous.
This Labor Day weekend featured some excellent biking weather, and I’m glad to say I took advantage of it.

Some of my riding was solo—I went to the gym early Sunday, for instance, and rode a bit on the Boyson Trail afterwards. But much of my weekend riding was with company, and in each case, company made the ride much more pleasant.

On Saturday morning, my granddaughter Amelia joined me for a bike ride on the Boyson Trail. We planned a brief sojourn before meeting her siblings at the Bowman Woods School playground in our area.

Let me tell you, Saturday at 9 a.m. is prime time for dog walking on the Boyson Trail. That didn’t bother us at all—in fact, Amelia loves all animals, and exclaimed “puppy” every time one came into view. At the end of our ride, Miss Amelia said “more puppies” just before we were to exit the trail into the neighborhood. I wanted to tell her that we had already seen all the dogs we would, but luckily I kept silent, because when we rounded the final bend by the parking lot, there were indeed more people out walking their dogs. Queen Amelia wanted more puppies and she got them.

It was a nice morning, not exactly cool, but it was a bit cloudy and nowhere near as hot as the weather has been. Sadly, the clouds produced no rain, but it was still a very good time to be on a bike. And the other trail users are 10 times more friendly when you have a cute 2-year-old girl perched on a toddler seat in the front of your bike. We passed the last of the puppies, and I asked Amelia if she was ready to play at the park. “Not yet!” she cried, her one decree that came to naught. I guess it’s a good sign when the crowd wants more.

Deer I saw during Sunday morning solo ride on Lindale Trail.

Wife rides into a beautiful early evening on Cedar Valley Nature Trail.
Me, reflected near new amphitheater.

Sunday afternoon, the wife and I decided to take a spin. We’ve been doing the Boyson Trail a lot lately, so I suggested we head over to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail. She agreed, as long as I could pick a route with “no hills.”

The route I chose, a slightly longer northern way that took us very close to my sister’s home, is not totally hill free, but it is mostly flat. We had to gingerly negotiate a bit of soft gravel at the Center Point Road project in Hiawatha, but once we were on the trail, is was a breezy, pleasant evening. It was warm, but there was a hint of cool in the air, a sign that the heat wave we’ve experienced is a thing of the past. We made decent time, and rode 5 miles north before turning back. I could not persuade my wife to go all the way to Lafayette, but she went further than she ever has on the trail, and it is a grand experience for use to be occasionally riding together.

Finally, today marked the Linn County Trail Association’s “mayors’ ride,” an 8-mile loop that starts and ends in Ellis Park. I headed down there this morning, and met my sister and her spouse. The morning was just about perfect for a bike ride, with cool wind and sunshine. I didn’t even mind a headwind now and then, since we weren’t pushing for speed and we weren’t going any great distance.

It was the second time I’ve done this ride, and 2 for 2 have been gorgeous. If this keeps up, it will be a habit.

Well, I’m sure Francis will have to go into the shop soon, so there might be a gap in my biking experience. I may borrow my son’s road bike, but will be judicious about putting miles on it. Still, even if Francis is laid up for a bit, it was nice to have such pleasant weekend rides.

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