Sunday, March 23, 2014

In Which I Ride, Pray, Pay and Pass 200 Miles

Sun sinks low over Cedar Lake March 23 during my ride home. No eagles today--must be more open water so they don't have to hang around the lake any more.

It will snow Monday. As expected, spring break is a bit more like winter break, as the long, cold winter season of 2014 is still hanging on. The calendar says spring, but Mother Natures turns a cold shoulder to that idea.

We had four grandchildren as house guests this weekend. And we watched a movie my wife had just purchased. It was “Frozen.” Not sure it was the best choice. It is a cute movie, by the way, although I think the resolution makes no sense. And why cut all trade with another nation because one skinny old guy is a jerk?

Anyway, today we met the kids’ mom at a fast-food restaurant for the handoff. Then, after an afternoon nap, I decided it was time to hit the trail and get some weekend miles. It was mildly cool, temperature in the 30s, when I headed out.

I wasn’t sure how far I would go. I left about 4:15, and intended to stop at Immaculate Conception Church to attend the “sinners’ Mass,” the 5:30 p.m. Sunday service. As it turned out, I only got to downtown Cedar Rapids before turning north along Third Avenue to make it to the church.

By the time Mass ended, it was cooling a lot. I headed off again along the same trail route. My water bottle was starting to ice up as I peddled home. Still, even if it was cold enough to freeze water—the temperature had dropped to the 20s—the lack of wind meant it wasn’t an unpleasant ride.

And I do like riding at sunset. Yes, I need lights, it’s probably not the safest time, but there is something especially pretty about the golden light of late day just before the sun dips below the horizon, and the early blue and pink light of twilight as we slip into the shadow of our planet.

When I got home, I had a cup of hot chocolate and a bunch of pizza to warm up. And decided it was time. I “closed” the RAGBRAI group so that I could pay and be officially registered. So now Team Joe is officially me, my sisters Brigid and Cate, Brigid’s husband Eldon, and Susan who is my sister-in-law on my wife’s side. Five of us, ready for a summer ride! And ready for summer, too.

I also updated my mileage numbers on my Google Drive bike log. With the 17 miles today, I have topped 200 miles of bicycle riding in 2014. Only 4,800 to go to my year’s goal—about 10 RAGBRAIs, I guess.

Happy biking!

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