Today’s bike ride was an LSD day and I started out with no agenda other than ‘bike for as long or as far as you want.’
Well, I ended up biking 30.14 miles today, and I feel pretty damn good.
Around this time last year, I was dying just biking 10-12 miles in one trip. Now 10-12 miles is an easy day.
I was on the Gandy once again. Like usual, I biked around town for nearly 4 miles before I got onto the actual trail. I was worried because the beautiful weather on this Friday afternoon might draw crowds to the Gandy like what happened a couple of weeks ago.
During our first real “warm” (read: above 50 degree) day, EVERYBODY was out on the Gandy which made social distancing pretty difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that many people can use our awesome trails but I get frustrated by a lack of common courtesy or following the posted rules. (I almost crashed into a kid who was swerving on his low-rider BMX bike — take it to the skate park dude! Then I almost ran over not one but two different dogs because they were off their leashes and they thought chasing after me was a great way to be friendly. Ugg…)
Thankfully, today was so much better and people were a lot more respectful and courteous on the trail. I noticed that runners, bikers, and skiers are the friendliest sorts of people you can come across. Nine out of 10 times when I pass someone coming in the opposite direction, we give a nod of acknowledgement or a Wisconsin two-fingered wave. One biker even helped me remove some fallen trees from the trail after a spring storm came through the area. (His name is John and he’s a lovely man who was super concerned about maintaining our social distance while we cleared the trees. I like him.)
Anyways, I made my first objective to bike to my usual turn around point (about 7.75 miles in). Once there, I decided to cross HWY 35 and bike to the next town over. Without a headwind, the ride was much easier and far more enjoyable. Once I got to Milltown, I turned around at the Gandy parking lot and biked back home.
The sun was shining, the weather was a perfect 68 degrees with only a mild humidity, and the trail was firm and freshly groomed of leaves and debris so I maintained a faster speed than I intended until I got back to Saint Croix Falls.
I made it back to my car after going 24.5 miles and I knew that I could go 30. But then the wind picked up and then doubt crept into my mind. I kept on biking my usual 3 mile loop in town but the wind made it more of a grind. Hey, it didn’t matter! This was my LSD day. If I was moving in a forward direction, then I was still logging distance. After more loops in town, I circled back to my car after hitting the big three-oh.
There was a little voice in my head that told me to go another 1.5 miles so I could say I biked 50 kilometers (a metric half-century), but my tailbone was crying out for mercy and I was suitably spent. Oh well. It’s only May! Now that I’ve covered this distance with relative ease (honestly, the ride was easy…just time consuming), I know that metric half-century is within my grasp.
It feels good man. It feels real good.