Pedal Power

Greetings to everyone who hasn’t melted from the heat! I came close this weekend, but thanks to a carefully timed PB and banana flatbread and a small amount of fro-yo, I survived.

After pounding the pavement for 3.3 miles yesterday, I opted for a bike ride today. I haven’t ridden my bike nearly enough this summer. It seemed we went from a too-windy and wet spring to a blistering summer, and I’ve mostly been sticking to my neighborhood and home gym. Today, I wanted to take advantage of the lighter Sunday a.m. traffic to test a route to Shelby Farms, a local park I visit fairly often, though usually by car. But not today!

What should have been a 3.5 mile ride to the trailhead expanded to 4.5 miles because I had to detour to Walgreen’s for new sunglasses. I’ve somehow managed to lose the three pairs I already own. And because I had to wait for Walgreen’s to open, I got a late start. That won’t happen next weekend, I can assure you.

The ride to the trail is a little dicey. For one thing, it crosses two major cross-city streets and without fail, someone always turns in front of me crossing one or the other. Today was no different, although it happened on the return trip. Note to idiot drivers: if you’re going to squish me, please do so at the beginning of the ride, not after I’ve completed 95% of it.

The other icky thing about the ride over is that the outbound side of the street is in the county and doesn’t have sidewalks, which means I have to ride in the narrow, right-hand lane. It’s less than a mile, but still harrowing. I’m not sure I would try it on a weekday, with commuter traffic.

Anyway, I arrived at the trailhead without incident:

Wolf River Trailhead

Wolf River Trailhead

Oh thank goodness I didn’t pack my handgun in my bike bag! I would’ve had to turn around and go home. :)

Shortly after accessing the trail, I arrived at the Wolf River pedestrian bridge:

Wolf River Bridge

Wolf River Pedestrian Bridge

Until it opened last fall, there wasn’t a way to cross the river without riding about 7 miles out of the way and/or driving down a narrow-shouldered, 55-mph highway or a 6-lane parkway. No thanks! I ♥ this bridge!

From the bridge, it’s a short ride (1.5 miles or so) to the park:

Shelby Farms Park

Shelby Farms Park (Patriot Lake)

This is, I believe the highest point in the park. At least, it felt like it when I was riding up there. :) That’s Patriot Lake in the near background. It has a 1.5 mile path around it that I enjoy walking in cooler times, and it was jammed with folks this morning. Way in the distance are two office towers. That’s where I used to work, and my house is about 2 miles beyond that.

Since I had time, I decided to check out the Woodlands Discovery Playground:

Woodland Discover Playground

Woodland Discover Playground

Woodland Discover Playground

Woodland Discover Playground

Woodland Discover Playground

Woodland Discover Playground

I don’t know about you, but this is a far cry from the swing set, slide, and jungle gym from my childhood days! These kids have got it made! I would’ve probably tried that rope climbing thing if that man hadn’t been standing there. I’d thought I would go back on a weekday, but I’ve since learned that all adults should be accompanied by a child. I understand the intent of that rule, but…bummer!

Since I couldn’t play on the playground and because it was getting hot as hell out there, I decided to head for home. When the weather cools, I’ll catch the Greenline north of the park and ride into the Midtown area, but not on a day when the heat index is 102° at 10:30 a.m.

The ride home was almost all sidewalks, which was nice, but there was one killer hill along the way that almost did me in. I’d forgotten my fueling ‘nana, and the yogurt I’d had for breakfast was only a distant memory. My body agreed. I was huffin’ and puffin’ like crazy to make it up the hill, but no way was I stopping!

My reward, besides the awesome NSV, was lunch at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe. I’m not sure which I enjoyed more–the peanut butter & banana flatbread sammie or the ice for my water bottle. :) I mostly enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to do that hill again.

I did have a series of rolling hills to get through before arriving home, so I didn’t linger too long after lunch. They weren’t too difficult, but I was really feeling the heat by then. I rolled into my driveway at 14.7 miles, and although my legs were willing to ride around the neighborhood for another 0.3 miles, the rest of me said NO, get outta this sun! I can live with the wee shortage. :)

A shower, a nap, and then a trip for a smidge of fro-yo, and I was back in business! All in all, a good exercise weekend for me, and this week I get back to strength training in earnest. *Tingle!*

How was your weekend? What did you do that you’re especially proud of? (C’mon, I know there was something!)

14 thoughts on “Pedal Power

  1. Looks like a lovely ride! Great park.

    It is really flippin’ hot here too…not that I dared go out, but I did open the window for about eight seconds and realized it was 95 degrees at 9 p.m. That’s not right!

    I am proud of finishing three weeks of challenging myself!!!

  2. Whenever you do a photo tour of your bike rides, it makes me wish we had such a place near us.
    And that was before the playground!! Totally cool. Oh my gosh. I do have a kid to get me in!
    I always mean to ask you…. is that your own feet in your header picture.. all tip-toey on that scale? I’ve always wondered.

  3. dang. mine was NOT as fun as that woodland playground. There may have been some IT IS SO SO HOT grumping around here :)

  4. Cammy, I would have played on that playground anyway! What fun! Looks to me like you worked out pretty hard with that ride & beautiful pics! Fro-yo was deserved!!!

    Had fun yesterday at a bday party & ran in the morn first! Already finished my all weight Monday!! :-)

  5. I’m envious; I have not been on my bike in so long I can’t even remember when the last ride was! And we are expecting record-breaking heat here this week. Sigh.

  6. I don’t do much exercising on the weekends but i did get my 4 miles of hills walking in this Monday morning. You’ve inspired me i may get a bike ride in tomorrow EARLY like 6am. Uuuugh i’m so not a morning exercise person but this weather leaves me no option. Great job on the ride. Sounds like a nice place to ride minus the traffic areas. i usually take mine up on the dam about a mile and a half from my house . i can get a good 16 mile bike ride that way. I found you thru Roxie’s blog! Keep moving! Hugs! deb

  7. I cannot believe you rode a bicycle in this gosh-awful Tennessee heat and humidity. You are a glutton for punishment. On the other hand, you probably sweated off several pounds.

    As for me, I turned another year older on Saturday. Considering the alternative, I guess that’s a pretty good accomplishment for the weekend!!

  8. Nice ride! Although I have to say that sandwich and smoothie sounded pretty awesome as well. It always tastes to much better when you are riding 😀

  9. I’m sure you could borrow a neighborhood kid for a few hours so you can play in the cool park.

    My weekend was pretty uneventful. I didn’t get any good workouts in but I am proud that I stayed away from the s’mores fixins.

    Stay cool.

  10. Thanks for your comment! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged but love to see that people I’ve “known” will still stop by and read me :)

    I’m looking forward to my Tokyo adventure and will look forward to your stopping by my new blog.

  11. I loved joining you on your bike ride through your photos. Kids these days have amazing play grounds! What a pity you can’t find a child to go with you so you can play there!

    I had a pretty quiet weekend post surgery, just taking it easy.

  12. THanks for sharing the bike ride and the pictures! I LOVE riding!!!! I can’t wait for cooler temps so I can get on the road more often!!!

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