Today I rode my bike to the store for ice cream. I’ve been having major sweet cravings lately- especially for ice cream- and could be denied no longer. I tried to justify a trip by trying to come up with a grocery list for the week, but was unable to take my mind off of the delicious ice cream that I was soon to have in my possession long enough to concentrate on the task at hand. So without even changing out of my work clothes, I headed to the store. Despite rolling up my pant leg, I still, as @cycleboredom likes to say, got hipster on my pants. But it was worth it, because the ice cream was delicious.
Today the weather walked that fine line between spring and summer. The wind had a bit of a nip to it, especially if you were in the shade. The sun was warm, but not with its trademark summer scorch.
This weather has helped me understand the point of armwarmers. When I started my cycling adventure in the cold winter months, I thought, it’s either cold and you need a coat or it’s warm and you don’t. Arm warmer wouldn’t be useful in either situation. But I forgot about the weird transition period between spring and summer. When it’s cold and hot at the same time or it’s cold when you start but warm 15 minutes in. Can’t take off a coat if it gets warm or carry it in your back pocket! So think I’m gonna invest in some armwarmers.
Today I embarked on a epic journey (for me, anyway). I decided it was time to tackle a longer ride by myself. So I decide to do the Patuxent Wildlife Preserve Loop, found on the Bike Washington website (and pointed out to me by Shannon). It’s marked at 25 miles, but I went about 30, thanks to some unexpected detours. And I think it went pretty well. The route was great- it was hilly enough to challenging, but not hilly enough to be soul crushing. It followed some well traveled roads with nice wide shoulders and empty back roads. I didn’t do the whole thing without stopping but it still only took me 2 hours. I was a little nervous- I’d never ridden that far before and it was a country road route, so I’d be a long was from anything if something happened. But it was great. Discovered a chapel founded in 1861. Took a break by a cabin built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).
It wasn’t all awesome, though. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a longer route and I forgot to bring any food. I did eat lunch before I left, but it clearly wasn’t enough! I did make one wrong turn, but only one and I quickly realized my mistake. The last 8 miles were pretty yucky. I was tired, there was a nasty crosswind whenever the surroundings opened up and I just kept wanting the ride to be over. Then on the metro home, I found a slice in my tire. Whatever it was didn’t puncture the tube, thank god, but now need a new tire. Boo.
But I made it and in the end felt pretty good! I was happy I hadn’t tried to ride the trails today- my friend Olivia did, and said it was crazy busy with the nice weather.
Today the weather was beautiful. This was a good thing because a) who doesn’t love riding in perfect weather and b) I was super stressed out when I left work. To be honest, I’d never really used the bike as a stress relief before. But today when I left work, all I could think about was getting on my bike.
I find biking to be, in turns, contemplative (when I mull over an issue that’s been bothering me), meditative (when I commune with nature and the bike), and relaxing (when I listen to a podcast and just ride). Today’s ride was definitely in the relaxing category, as I rode to leave behind all the bad jou-jou of the day. I listened to an episode of The Flamme Cast and remembered what really matters in life.
I rarely bike in regular clothes. I think this is mainly because I rarely go out on my bike for errands. Even though I don’t have a car, I often just walk to places I need to go. Right now I mainly see my bike as exercise. And I’m still a little nervous to take my bike places and leave it locked up for long periods of time!
Anyway, all this is to say that I indeed did use my bike to get groceries last night and rode to the store in jeans. Mainly because I wasn’t in the mood to take a longer ride nor did I have the time- I needed to go to the store, Survivor was on at 8, and Shannon was coming over for gourmet grilled cheese. So I rode to the store in jeans.
After one day of summer weather, we went right back to winter. It was a yucky one to be sure, but I almost prefer it when it’s cold, overcast, or a little rainy. This is because I have the trails to myself. The trails have a different feel when it’s overcast. As the clouds come in and the temperature drops, those who venture onto the path become few and far between. With the low hanging clouds pressing down, the deserted parks and paths, I feel all alone out there. They become my trails, where I can go as fast as I want and where there is no limit to my ability. I know these colder, cloudy days will soon be over, so I’ll take advantage where I can.
Today we got a taste of summer- hot and humid. Although only a fraction of what summer is capable of producing, it was enough. Surprisingly, I wasn’t dreading a ride as much as I normally would in such heat. I think this was because I was excited to try out my new jerseys I had just received.
The warm weather of a couple of weeks ago motivated me to finally order some short sleeved jerseys. I hadn’t been looking forward to this moment. I was nervous about finding tops that fit me after my experience trying to find a new riding jacket (I couldn’t find a single cycling specific jacket at the store which fit both my hips and my boobs- men’s or women’s). But after massive amounts of research and obsessive checking the sizing, I ordered some jerseys online and once they arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that not only did they fit, but they didn’t look too bad either! I mean, they aren’t the most flattering pieces of clothing I own, but I can’t expect too much from cycling clothing!