Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Two thousand miles

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Friday night, Sarah and I went for a 10-miles bicycle ride at Morgan-Monroe State Forest. I rode my old mountain bike, which is still a lot of fun to ride. This is the longest ride Sarah has done, and she did a good job. It was also a milestone for me, as I reached 2,000 miles pedaled so far this year. It’s still hard for me to believe that I’ve ridden so much. 2,000 miles … that’s from here to Los Angeles! Many others ride more, but I just started riding last year, after many years out of the saddle — and that was mountain biking. I didn’t even get a road bike until late January.

Needless to say, I feel pretty good about this. Getting back into bicycling has changed my life — I quit smoking, lost a bunch of weight (and I’m still losing more), and I just feel better. It’s also a lot of fun and has led to a lot of adventures.

Our ride Friday was very pleasant. We drove up to the state forest and parked right inside the entrance, then rode to Cherry Lake, which is near the office, and back. The roads there have been recently resurfaced and are very smooth, there’s little traffic, and the road gently winds across a ridgetop, passing through several different kinds of forest.

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Sarah riding through the state forest

We rested for a few minutes and enjoyed the lake before heading back.

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Goofing around by Cherry Lake
Anyway, the rest of our weekend was good, too. On Saturday, we slept in, which meant I didn’t get a long ride in, but I still got to ride about 25 miles, taking Shilo Road and then going by Lake Griffy on Headley Road. This was a nice change to my route, and didn’t add much in the way of mileage, but did add a pretty good climb.

We also took Rob to a beach on Lake Monroe that my friend Dave said was a good place to take a dog. He was right. We hadn’t taken Rob swimming before, but he loved it! He acted more like a dog than he ever has, I think.

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Fetch!

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He kept shaking and getting water all over me. I decided it was time for payback.

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It was a pretty place to  play, too

We also wandered around the “beach” (actually, it was more rocks and mud than sand) and collected some geodes and fossils. There were thousands of fossils, some separate, and some in huge clusters.  We had a good time.

Sunday morning, I went mountain biking with Dave and some guys from work who were on their first ride, Aeyai and Chris. Aeyai was in a little better shape, but Chris had better bike-handling skills, so they were about equal in their abilities in the end.  They did a whole lot better than I did on my first mountain biking ride. We started at the North Tower and rode the North Tower Loop. Each had a little mishap, Aeyai going into a turn too quickly and riding off the trail a bit, and Chris falling in a switchback with loose some loose dirt/rocks. Nobody was hurt, or even discouraged.

We rode back to the North Tower and talked for a little while, after which I went out and rode the North Tower Loop again, and added in the Aynes Loop. I hadn’t been mountain biking in over a month and while I’m in a bit better shape, I had forgotten how rough part of the Aynes Loop can be. There’s a very rocky section that I did OK on, but I didn’t clear it as gracefully as I could have.

On Sunday afternoon, Sarah and I went to the pool in our apartment complex, where we mostly stood in the water. It was very refreshing and fun. I’m glad we went.

Finally, last night, we made some plans for our trip to the Smokies, realizing that we just plain won’t have enough time. We contemplated ways to add more days to our trip, but I doubt that’ll be possible. Alas. We are getting very excited (we leave Thursday night). I also talked to my friend in Charlotte, and it looks like our plans there are still on track.

7 Responses to “Two thousand miles”

  1. furiousball Says:

    Yeah doggie swimming! Good for you guys, looks like Rob really dug the water.

  2. i, squub Says:

    Fossils! Geodes! I don’t get to see that kinda shit much when I’m out and about. Pictures?

    I bet I could check your linky thing to see if you put any.

  3. Jett Says:

    Yes, there comes a point where the riding just feels good, and it sounds like you’ve certainly reached that point. It’s like your life and the world come together.

    2000 miles is a — well, it’s 2000 milestones ;-). That’s an admirable weekly average too since I don’t think you got too many miles in at the start of the year. I’ve been eyeing your log and thinking about whether I wanted to publish something like this or not. Right now I track the miles in my Treo, but it would be easy to put them into some other package for presentation. Interested to hear your experiences.

  4. MRMacrum Says:

    2000 miles. The average person not in tune with cycling does not generally understand what it takes to fit that kind of mileage in alongside of a Life filled with the normal comittments of job, family, etc. Way to go. From my sporadic visits here, it appears you had much fun logging those miles. And that is what is important IMO to help keep the other pressures in Life in perspective.

  5. John Says:

    I’m a regular visitor to the Smokies. Cullowee, Western Carolina University to be precise. It’s great country and we always top it off with a trip to Ashville.

  6. Marty Says:

    Yet another great outing – and your dog looks super happy. I had better not show those pictures to our dogs. They hate us because we don’t do things like that very often.

  7. Robert Says:

    Ha! I just reached 2k miles for the year as well. And posted about it!

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