Friday, June 9, 2017

Oh yeah... I forgot about the hills.

     Knowing that 55 mile ride is just around the corner, I've been trying to get on my bike as often as possible.  I mentioned that riding around the lake at Olander park was a safe and perfect way to build up my endurance.  But I decided I needed a ride with a little more challenge.

     As I think back to last fall, I remember that Wildwood Park had quite a few challenges.  It was the ideal place to ride; it was close, as well as safer than a traditional bike trail by my self.  So I headed over to refresh my memory with just how challenging it was.

   I'll admit, this park is more interesting than Olander, but what I had forgotten about was those crazy hills.  I remember all too well that the bike to the bay had some monstrous hills.  Some of them I couldn't even make my way up. I needed to be proactive.  

     The first hill of the season was a real eye opener, as I found myself unable to remember which gear changer controlled which chain ring.  At Olander I stayed in a middle gear the entire time.

     My bike has two gear shift levers on the left handle, and two on the right, and remembering which one does what is a little confusing.  On my way up the hill was no time to refresh my memory.  It's hard enough to focus on pedaling up that hill, with out trying to watch my chain to see what ring it's on.

     Of course, on my way back down the hill was no time to figure it out either.  I was too busy trying to remember which brake to ride, and which one to stay clear of.  I do remember if I hit the front brake going barreling down a hill could send me flying over the handle bars. 

     That old cliche', it's just like riding a bike... well the mental part will get you every time. 

     Racing down hill on a cement bridge, surrounded by wood was a disaster waiting to happen.  But an accident was also possible on the ride to Port Clinton.  I may as well figure it out ahead of time.
     I wonder how much it would hurt to crash into this covered bridge... let's not find out.

     After numerous rides through the park, I was finally remembering all of the gears and brakes.  And I have to say, this ride was both mentally and physically exhausting.  But I've come to realize that my favorite part of the ride is when I'm on the last leg, and I'm looking for the friendliest face to ask to take my picture. 

      It started out being a way to journal my bike rides, but now every person I ask to take a photo becomes engaged with my life story and learns all about the bike to the bay. I meet so many neat people by simply asking them to help me out.  Everyone wants to feel helpful. In this case it was four college age girls, who were thrilled to help and totally inspired as well.
         I tell people all the time that this ride isn't about the bike ride, but the message I'm trying to send.  And at the end of the day I'm sure we all learned a lot.

Have a great day!!


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