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:
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:
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:
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:
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!)