That Metric Half-Century Is So Close That I Can Taste It!

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.

This picture was taken 18 miles in. And if you must know, Matt Smith was my first Doctor and he’s my favorite (…don’t hate me…)

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.

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