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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just went on my first 20 mile(21.55 actually) bike ride!--So much fun!!

If you had asked me last year if I would want to go on a 20 mile bike ride, I am sure the answer would have been - "No, thanks". But since I have been working out regularly and consistently since January, I have come to feel a lot more able. Then adding in endurance training on top of the work outs and I now feel like I have capacity!

One of my goals this summer was to go on a 20 mile bike ride. I may have done bike rides as long as this when I was younger but I don't remember it. This to me was a milestone. To be almost 55 and go on a 20 mile bike ride seems like it would definitely qualify as an achievement.

My husband is a regular cyclist. He was game to go on the 20 mile ride with me. In fact, knowing the pathways far better than I do, he volunteered to map out our ride. He did a beautiful job.

Most of the first part of the ride was up hill, but at a light grade. We went through all sorts of terrain. I even had to cycle on gravel...a little harder and a bit "scarier" than pavement. But it was worth it. That part of the ride was in a conservation area...filled with panoramic views, picturesque pastureland overflowing with all variety of wildflowers and so many birds eager to share their song. We even encountered a garter snake sacheting across the path.
There were a few challenges along the way. There has been so much water from the run off of the snow and the constant rain, that parts of the pathways were closed. Keeping to our course required a little more work on our part...but we went along streets we hadn't ever been on before which added to the adventure.
The key thing I was worried about was keeping my energy up for the whole ride. As part of the strategy we planned to stop for a picnic around halfway. We also brought two bottles of water for each of us and an added Power Bar. That did the trick. We also stopped to take a few photos and to take "water breaks". We didn't stop too often, but just enough to allow me time to re-energize.
This first time around I wasn't worried about speed, just completing the trek. And, I did! I also wanted to make it as enjoyable as possible so it seemed more like an adventure than a drudgery merely to achieve a goal. Thanks to my super supportive husband, who was game, I did have a great time. So much so, I want to go for a 30 mile bike ride next month! I am thinking it is appealing to become "jock-like" during the second half of my life...why not?
To more fun ahead!