For the past three or four years taking a 50 mile bike ride has been on my to-do list. Most years, my friends and I would talk about it but never make plans. Other years we’d try but realize we started too late in the day or that everyone in the group wasn’t up for the task. This year though, we killed it!
The morning of I woke up wondering what in the heck I was getting myself into. Temperatures were going to reach 90, and it was going to be HUMID. I couldn’t imagine biking five miles in the heat, let alone fifty. Not to mention the fact that other than the last two months, we haven’t been riding all that much. Compared to previous summers, I’m definitely a little out of practice.
We started at 7:30 in the morning, hoping to beat the heat. We didn’t. There were some definitely rough moments where perhaps if I were biking alone I’d have just given up. Pride is a pretty powerful motivator though. I certainly didn’t want to be the one who called it quits on the ride.
Staying hydrated when it’s that hot isn’t easy. After mile ten my face was already comically red and felt like fire. Somehow I powered through though. Six hours later with a few generous water breaks, and some a couple photo stops thrown in we rolled back into my driveway at just over 50 miles. I couldn’t be more proud!
A small list of my favorite things from this ride!
▴ Unexpected rain, especially when accompanied by sunshine. Cooled me down enough to keep pedaling the last 10 miles!
▴FINALLY crossing this off my to-do list, especially considering just one week earlier I was hit by a car on my way home from downtown. I’m fine. My bike is fine. I posted a tiny bit about it here. I feel so lucky that I was able to get back on my bike so soon.
▴ Waving at other cyclists.
▴ The cop who turned on his speaker to say ‘Good Morning’ as we biked past his car.
▴ Finding five cents. You should know that Jeff and I are both way into finding sidewalk change… like way more than most people. Five cents isn’t much, obviously, but it is five cents more than I had before. For some reason picking up money on the street just brings me so much joy.
▴ Group shots with colorful murals. Also – blending into murals.
Learning to bike in the city changed my life. Not only do I obviously feel healthier physically, it’s done wonders for my mental health. Even on my worst days, a bike ride lifts my spirits. I’m still riding high on my accomplishment of a 50 mile ride, even two days later. I LOVE my bike.
Here’s to the next 50 mile ride. Hopefully it doesn’t take another four years to go on another one.