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Getting My Bike On

September 17, 2012

I completed a sprint triathlon on whim earlier this summer and it was quite obvious that biking was my weakest sport. I’ve ramped up my biking the past couple years, but there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement relative to the swimming and the running. Combine that with my desire to do the Seattle-to-Portland in one day this year (ambitious!) and I realized that I spending some time in the saddle would be a good idea.

I organized a ride with some of my running buddies, planning to meet on Sunday morning just a few miles from our house. I chose a ride we had done earlier this year. I was hoping for one a bit longer or hillier, but I haven’t done a long ride and I wanted to go easy on Derek’s hurting knee. I rushed Derek out of house this morning since we had to bike to the start (about 5 miles) and I hate being late. The rushing ended up being for naught since some bike troubles and issues finding the meeting location made a few of my friends late. About half an hour after our original meeting time, we set out into the fog covered route. After about half an hour, the sun came out, the fog lifted, and I stopped feeling chilled.

A couple miles in, we lost one of our members (who was carrying her dog with her in a basket) because she thought she couldn’t keep up with us. I felt very badly about this; since we had a range of biking abilities I really didn’t want to leave anyone out. The main goal of this ride was to have fun and enjoy the ride.

The first half of the ride had some small rolling hills and beautiful rural scenery. It also had portions scented with pungent cow manure. I wish I had taken a picture of some of the cows (moo) and the mountains in the distance. On a straightaway I start to feel a bit cranky; a sure sign that I needed to ingest some calories! We took a bathroom and snacks break at a gas station about two-thirds of our through where I consumed my snack of pecans and raisins. Nothing beats the convenience and satiety of dried fruit and nuts for fuel.

That certainly made all the difference. I felt much better the rest of the way back. We pushed the a little bit on the winding, bucolic roads back to our starting location. We met up with our lost companion (and her adorable dog). Half of our group needed to return to their families and the rest of us enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Duvall Grill. I was craving salt so I devoured a tasty spinach salad topped with bacon, cheese, and chicken. It definitely hit the spot!

Derek I and I still had the short 5 mile ride back to our house. Unfortunately it was mostly up hill, but I don’t think my legs felt reality of biking 40 miles already so I powered up the hill (well…powered up as much as I could :). I’m not sure how many of these nice days we’ll have left this summer so I want to enjoy them while we can!

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