Sunday, June 12, 2016

In Which I Pass the 60-Mile Barrier

I investigated this side trail in Robins on the second ride. It turned out to be less than I expected--it leads to a sidewalk on a rather nondescript suburban street, and the large building that looks like it could be an elementary school or small hospital turned out to be a rather dull suburban office building. Dunder-Mifflin could have been there.

There was a fair amount of bike traffic on the trails today.

I took three rides today, with the goal of reaching the 60-mile mark in one day. In the morning, I rode to the gym, going up the Brentwood Drive Hill several times and riding on the Boyson Trail on the way home. The 2-mile ride to the gym thus accounted for about 9 miles.

In the late morning and early afternoon, I rode north to the end of pavement on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, 10 miles north of Hiawatha. With the ride to and from the trail start, that added 31 miles, bringing my day total to 40.

After a leisurely lunch break, and a root beer float party that happened after my wife and daughter came home from a long walk, by about 4 I was ready to go on ride 3. I set out going south on the Cedar River Trail. I went to a bench near Tait Cummins Park, and knew from my computer that I had topped 50 miles and was more than 10 miles from home.

Trail south of Cedar River near my turn-around point. It had been somewhat cloudy earlier--I even got sprinkled on during the day's first ride, but it's pleasant and sunny, if a bit breezy, in the afternoon.

I paused to enjoy a bag of nuts and rest a bit off the bike, when two bikers passed by, one wearing an MMU Mustangs jersey. “Hi, Joe,” said the second biker. It was Dennis Dew, the psychology professor who has the office next to mine. He was riding with Don Damsteegt, a retired psychology professor who still teaches some classes.

Temp on Gazette sign. Nice day.
They went by just as I was getting on my bike, and since they were headed north, I was able to catch up with them and had a pleasant chat. They stopped at Sokol Park to meet friends, and I rode on.

As I was nearing home, on 42nd Street, where I had left the trail, my odometer hit the 60-mile mark. I paused for a little photo session.

42nd Street near Council--I just hit 60 miles. Turning the camera the other way, below.

All in all, the 60 miles were, except for the morning hill climbs, very flat trail miles. So it’s not the perfect RAGBRAI analogy. And the part that sits down, where the biker meets the bike, is indeed quite sore. Still, it’s good to ride a RAGBRAI-like distance. I hope to increase that—my next goal is to reach a 75-mile day, and I would like to do at least one century before RAGBRAI.

Final computer reading. Almost 63 miles.

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