Tag Archives: Cycling

Getting My Legs Back

It sucks right now that the 31 miles I rode today kicked my ass.  Last November I rode 72 miles in one day, amazing how some time off the bike quickly affects one.

Life has been a little bit in the way with silly things like buying a house, family visiting, and traveling. Fortunately I am settling back down and finding time again to do the things I love on a regular basis (like blog!).

Hopefully by this November I will be back to having a set of strong legs and today’s ride will seem like a piece of cake. (yummm…..did someone say cake?)

2 Days on 2 Wheels, 138 miles of Bike Therapy! Part 3, The Finale!

Part 1 click here, part 2 click here

So after a good night refueling on some appropriate food to prepare for another full day of riding (Mexican food, Little Debbie Donuts and beer)  I had a good night of rest and woke up at 6am ready to go!  Of course I was in central time zone so really to me it was 7.

So I’m going to sidetrack for a minute and talk food since I have had a few people ask what I brought and ate.  Well being a little worried about food availability and also knowing I had food available I brought kind of a strange mix of too much!  Not being a huge fan of GUs and all of those other fancy instant energy things I brought more sustenance type things.   I brought along a snack mix I picked up at Greenlife, a couple of Cliff Bars for Kids (because they are smaller and quite tasty), dried lightly sweetened papaya because it is yummy and similar to a lot of what people pay more for as far as energy stuff goes, a couple of big Cliff bars (gingerbread spice because it is my favorite one and only seasonal) and the most important Emergen-Cs for my water.  I think for me hydration and electrolytes is what I need most as I tend to make up for everything else in food otherwise.  I had a lot leftover from what I brought and as you saw earlier ate total shit for dinner (I did honestly have a hard time finding anything sweet that wasn’t Little Debbie at this particular tiny grocery store) and was fine.  I know what my body can digest well and what it can’t.  I avoid eggs, turkey, tvp, and onions.  Otherwise I’m pretty good to go as long as I don’t excess in anything.

Okay so back to my travels.  I got up….yep…6am central time but 7am in my mind.  I was not in a hurry as it was chilly and I knew I had plenty of daylight to make it back to my car. I dressed and wandered over to the “free”breakfast the motel had and found not much other than some raisin bran and crappy coffee.  I had a little bit of both and then went back to my room and enjoyed a Cliff bar on top of that.  I packed everything back up and set out.

The sun was shining, the air cold but still.  It was beautiful.

I started pedaling and was quickly into a zone. I was several miles into my ride before I started to relax and enjoy the beauty around me.  At that point I was really starting to take everything in and my emotions all came to me at once.  I started to cry.  I cried because I was happy, because I was overwhelmed, because I was proud of myself for this journey, because I was scared I would not finish my journey… there were so many emotions inside of me at once that I really cannot express it.  I was almost balling in my tears with everything I felt.  It really was something I needed.  Bike therapy at its purest.  It isn’t something I can really explain, just something I am so happy to have experienced and one of those moments in life I would not trade for anything else.  It truly felt like I had a “therapy breakthrough”.  It seemed as if my life became a whole lot more clear and that I released some of my pain and anxiety over things past.

I’m sure some people think that I’m full of shit for saying what I felt during my ride but I also know many others have felt the same way whether it was on bike, during a run, a hike or whatever.  The fact that you know you can do something you never knew for sure you could do before is truly enlightening.

Okay, enough with the sentimental, emotional feelings and back to where I was…..I kept riding and thoroughly enjoying the bright, sunny day that was slowly warming around me.

The miles seemed to fly by as the air kept warming up and the sun shined down.  Even the section with hills went by with ease.  I did take some time to admire the view at the “top” (I’m spoiled by my mountains in NC).

I continued on until I was back into Rockmart, GA where I had planned to take a long lunch break.  Unfortunately the restaurant, Johnnies,  that other cyclists that have traveled this section have talked about had switched to winter hours and would not be open until 5.  I rode around the tiny town to see what other options there were and settled on a Coke from a local store.

Next thing I knew I was almost back to my car!  My energy was high and at about 50 miles in I came up behind a skinny guy on an  unloaded road bike looking like he was working hard for him.  I said “on your left” and slowly passed him by with my loaded down rig.  He did stay on my tail drafting me so after a mile or so I pulled over at the next trail head and let him go by, I didn’t want to keep up this pace forever but it did feel good to pass him up.

Shortly after that I was back at my car!  I checked to make sure my car looked okay and I decided I wasn’t quite ready to pack it up.  I wanted to explore the trail a little closer in to Atlanta and add on a few more miles.  So that I did.  I rode in total 72 miles on Saturday and felt damn good.  Over 138 total for the two days.

After I decided I was ready to pack up i headed to the nearest pizzeria and had a few slices of pie and a beer.  Life was good, no better than good, absolutely fantastic.

I drove the long 4 hours home and was so happy to see my cats and house.  I settled in for a good night of rest.

I really wasn’t quite over with my adventure until Sunday.  I awoke and worked on some crafts and did a few errands and then decided I needed to ride.  I toke the rack off my bike and headed out for a shortish loop through Leicester.  21 miles of absolutely beautiful country that I call home.  I ride through there often out from my door and even though I had the trip of a lifetime in two days I still couldn’t be happier to call the mountains of NC home.

Oh DuPont, How I Love Thee!

I was way overdue for a mountain bike ride and I needed to get to Brevard this weekend anyway so I loaded up Flash this morning for some quality time together out at our favorite local place to spend some time, DuPont.

I forget just how much I love DuPont until I am there.  So let me count the ways:

1. Ridgeline Trail, really a whole reason alone for me to go to DuPont.

2. Jim Branch Trail, yes another fantastically stupid fun trail

3. Airstrip Trail

 

4. The fact that there is actually an old airstrip that the trail comes off of

 

5. So many trails I can always find a new one to ride!

6.  The stunningly beautiful lakes

7. The amazing waterfalls

8. The variety of scenery, flora, fauna, rocks including the slickrock granite that provides a great riding surface or sometimes a nice place to take a break

 

9.  The trails vary from gravel roads. super stupidly fun flow all the way to steep rocky technical downhills.

Yes, I had a great day out playing in DuPont with Flash.  It was some much needed bike therapy!  Thanks DuPont!  Thanks to the friendly horseback rider who offered to take my picture with my bike in front of High Falls.

 

We’ll be back soon!

 

A Much Needed Ride

I did my second post surgery ride today!  I rode for an hour and I do hurt a little but not as bad as when I did 20 minutes last week so that is a huge improvement! It is also a huge improvement to my mood.  I just did a casual slow ride up Riverside from my house, a little over 13 miles.

I didn’t realize just how much I was needing it.  I have been battling a little bit of depression recently.  I started feeling anxious and depressed before my surgery and it has only become worse.  This is something I have battled with on and off in life and exercise, particularly biking, helps. A lot. I have been able to go to the gym a little recently and that has helped but really nothing is as therapeutic as getting out on two wheels and seeing the world around me.  Having been over a month since my last really good ride I had almost forgotten how awesome it is.

I rode slow but not too slow considering it was my first good ride since surgery last month.  It was a nice cool quiet Sunday morning and I pedaled and pedaled.  I wanted to go further but was afraid to get too far from the house and worried about the pain.  I felt fine the whole time I rode but stopped once to check how I felt and as soon as I put my foot down I was reminded.  The pain is still there and isn’t gone yet.  But it’s getting better and less every day.  So home I headed to make sure I didn’t overdo it.

Hopefully my mental pain can follow along with my foot and continue to get better.  Get out and ride, even if it’s a slow ride!

 

Weekend Soundtrack

I had a wonderful weekend.  I went to Georgia for the fall SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association)  board meeting on Saturday.  This involved my getting up a little bit after 4:30 am (after less than 4 hours of sleep) and driving up to meet up with Chris to head south and pick up Chip along the way in Greenville.  Much of the conversation revolved around music and quite a variety was listened to both there and back.  I  have total respect for Chris and his taste in music.  Chip has great taste, he just needs to broaden his horizons a little bit.  Anyways we arrived in Georgia right on the dot and had a productive meeting and I got to see several friends that I have not seen in a while and meet some new ones too.  After this we split up into groups and I got to check out the wonderful trails of Chicopee Woods.  Wonderful trails and I think I saw over 10 deer during the ride.  Definitely worth a stop if you are in the Gainesville, GA area.  Anyways, after some trail action enjoyed some bbq and beers with my SORBA friends and headed back north enjoying music and conversation the whole way.  I made home about 11 and promptly crashed.

Woke up after a good night of sleep last night and spent time getting some errands done and then had an enjoyable ride with my roommie out at Bent Creek.  Now I’m sitting here relaxing a little and packing for a visit to my parents for Thanksgiving.  I still need to catch up on sleep so will be hitting the hay early tonight.

It was an enjoyable weekend overall, even with a couple of snafus for the added adventure.  Visited with lots of friends, old and new, rode bikes, drank beer and had an enjoyable soundtrack to go with it all.  Everything from 2 Live Crew to Radiohead to Madonna and even some showtunes.  Hell yes!  Life is awesome and so is the music that comes along.

Chris and Chip this is for you:

 

Lone Rider

So today I headed out to Bent Creek for a ride.  It was an overcast but beautiful day for a ride.  As usual I ran into some folks I know.  They asked if I wanted to join them as we were all getting started on our rides.  I declined and hoped I didn’t seem rude.  See, I tend to ride alone when in the woods.  I enjoy the solitude of the world around me and my thoughts.  I tend to notice more when I ride alone.  I notice the rustle of the fall leaves and how the colors make the trail a new splendor of beauty.  I notice the squirrels rustling about among the branches and forest floor.  I can stop to ponder at a rock or a tree and not worry about holding anyone up.  For some reason I have grown to really enjoy my rides alone.  It’s probably not safest as I am prone to concussions and well am pretty damn good at crashing in general but mentally it is something I crave.  Just me, my bike and the forest around me.

Next week I will have two days of riding with others so I needed my alone time today.  So if you see me on the trail and ask if I want to join please don’t take it personally if I say no, it’s just how I like to roll.

So as I like to do, here is a song based very loosely on today’s post and thought it to be relevant since they are playing here in town tonight.  I won’t be there but will be enjoying the company of other cyclists around some food and beer for the Pisgah Area SORBA Holiday Party.   🙂

 

Roadie Snobs

Dear Roadie Snob,

I too, am a cyclist.  I’m a mountain biker (along with being President of the local SORBA chapter) and a commuter and sometimes will do shorter road rides on my mid 80s Nishiki.  Around town I wear my regular everyday clothes, my bike is old, I ride slow.  Still, I am a cyclist.  I too love bikes.  I do wish I could afford your road bike.  I spent my money instead on my mountain bike.  I do love my Nishiki, he gets me where I need to go and has his own style.  So why do you glare at me when you ride past my slow fat ass?  I’m on a bike, I’m happy and smiling.  Shouldn’t you be smiling too?  It seems like you are missing the whole point of riding a bike.  Riding a bike should be fun.  Sure, there are times you might be racing and more serious, but when riding down Riverside Drive on your $5,000 bike in your matching spandex outfit give me a smile, show your love and appreciation for other cyclists.  We all have something in common and it exists on two wheels.  We all love the bicycle so why can’t we all love the cyclists?  Geez.

(By the way, this does not go for all roadies, many of you do smile and acknowledge the love of the bicycle with other people.  It just seems that there is this elitist group that thinks they are better than everyone else.  I just don’t get it.)

Oh, one more thing roadie snob, you have spent a lot of money and time on that bike but what about your time to help create bike lanes and a more bike friendly community?  Your matching spandex outfit is less important that giving back to the cyclist community.  So relax, enjoy your ride and smile and when you have time or that money you have saved for a lighter helmet, give to a worthwhile organization.

Thanks and yours truly,

Karen