Thursday, April 28, 2016

Out of the Blues and Into the Blacks

This past weekend was soooo great. I used my last 3 hours of vacation for the month to get off work in the afternoon. It just happened to be Earth Day, and since I have always loved the world, ever since the 70's when we used the term "ecology" instead of "environment" as in, " I am all about ecology!", I celebrated one of my favorite holidays by putting my laundry on the line, as opposed to using an electric dryer and then doing one of my favorite bike rides. I didn't drive my car once the entire day.

I thought there was supposed to be a stronger headwind, but it wasn't too bad at all. It's almost exactly a 50 mile ride to Sutliff Bridge and back. It was the first time this year that I rode that far at any kind of speed and without stopping with my friends a bunch of times.

I stopped at the bridge and had the whole thing to myself. I drank some water and ate my blueberry coffee cake that I got at the Co-op on my way home from work, and watched the river rushing underneath me. The bar at the end of  the bridge was cranking old country music, Waylon Jennings, followed by Merle Haggard, followed by George Jones. It was perfect.

I got home a little later than I thought, so John was nice enough to get us some take-out sushi and we had a nice, relaxing evening and then went to bed embarrassingly early.

On Saturday, I went on a nice, easy 4.5 mile run and then John and I headed to Menards to get more stakes and organic black dirt, and some bulbs for the garden. I also did some more yard work with about 6,458 more hours of work to go...Of course, the trails were calling and who were we not to answer?

We had another great day riding and playing outside. John got me to ride on one small section of black trails. Last year my goal was to get brave enough to ride on all of the blue trails and once I did that, this year I'm trying to get brave enough to ride the black trails. In my head, that meant that maybe by August when I was in better shape and had some practice. John's idea was that I start last Saturday. He respected my deferring, but I have a feeling he'll keep gently pushing me in that direction.

Saturday night, I made some BBQ shrimp shish kabob over brown rice and a lovely, cold glass of pinot gregio and we watched the movie, "Infinitely Polar Bear". Mark Ruffalo was excellent in it.

Sunday morning was a trail work day. We had missed the last couple and even though we had committed to a road ride with our RAGBRAI friends, we still managed a couple of hours whacking those bad sticker bushes.

We met our friends at the Deadwood at 11 and headed out to Solon. We had a nice tailwind on the way there, which meant we were going to suffer a little more on the way home. I guess we could all worry about that later...

Some of our friends who weren't up for the ride, met us at Big Grove for lunch. It was wonderful to be able to hang out outside for pretty much the entire day.

On the way home, some of the guys were talking about getting a quick drink somewhere and I invited them all over to our porch instead. Unfortunately, I kind of forgot to confer with John, but luckily he wasn't too upset. We sat around and talked about past and future bike rides until about 6 pm when everyone took off and we finally had to go inside.

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