OMG! Can we say perfect weather?? The ride last night was warmer than I expected. Despite this, every serious biker* out there still was in long sleeves. It was cloudy, windy, and about 75 degrees at 5:30. I thought I would be riding by myself (hoping in a way), but after about a 1/2 mile out, I ran into Don and Libby, who were finishing up about 13 miles. They decided to turn around and join me to get closer to 30 in. Tuesdays are usually an easy ride day, nothing too hard, too long, or too serious. It really is difficult to get into hard training mode after work when you can't open up to on the roads because of traffic, and you have the darkness factor playing its hand this early in the season. We don't usually get out much before May, but it has been mild, and several of these guys/gals are doing IMCDA so biking is on the agenda as much as possible.
My plan was to go out on the bike path, cross the river, take the river path to the end and come back. Found out from Don and Libby that the river path was still flooded about half-way down, so that meant just a shorter out and back. I didn't mind, since now it looked like we would be riding harder than I had planned. I was glad it was flat, as the wind was strong enough to almost put you at a standstill at times. And cross winds as well. I forgot I was in my second chain, and was really struggling to keep up until I switched to the big ring, and then at least I was within drafting distance of the two. One thing about biking with Don. He likes to talk, point, and push me harder than I want at times. The problem with his talking and pointing at different things is he tends to drift over into the other person's lane. It makes me nervous and I am constantly telling him to watch out, what are you doing?, would you quit cutting me off?? But he means well. :)
The thing that really upsets me about this bike path is they (municipalities) do not keep it up. By this I mean, there is always debris on the path, enough so that you have to walk your bike around it if you can get through at all. And because of yearly flooding, it is a real must that they clean/sweep this thing a couple of times a year, but they don't. Floods leave silt (fine sand), and this tends to blow and drift when cars go by in the car lane (which I realize is where most of the junk comes from), but an occasional street sweeper through there certainly can't cost the cities that much. The other trails around the area are well groomed and most of the time immaculate, but never this one. It is pretty sad to see it in such a state because it could be so beautiful. And now with gas prices so high, most of us will likely stay closer to town on the evening rides, meaning it will get that much more use, so you would think they could do something. I guess its time to make a call or write a letter again to get some action.
*serious biker here = wearing a bike helmet. Sad but true, but there are so many people who do not wear helmets. I guess its like wearing a seatbelt to some people. Me? I would rather not take the chance of a head injury in the event of a fall.