As I attempt to get back in some semblance of shape, I’ve been doing some rather short rides (20ish miles), usually only riding one major hill in a ride. I’m a little surprised at how bad my fitness is at the moment, but I’m going to work up to longer rides gradually … especially given that the weather is finally heating up in what has been a relatively cool summer thus far.
My riding buddy Dave is in a similar situation, also having ridden relatively little, although I think he’s better off than I am in the fitness department. At any rate, this weekend we met up for a ride of about 27 miles. It was the hottest day in a while — in the upper 80s, but it felt hotter to me.
While we stood in Dave’s driveway deciding on a route, I felt like I was roasting. When we rolled out, there wasn’ t a cloud in the sky.
Once we got moving, we generated enough breeze that I felt quite a bit better. It also helped that the first portion of our ride seemed to have a fair number of downhills. A fun start!
Oddly there was a relatively large amount of traffic, given our relatively remote riding area and the fact that it was a Sunday. There were a lot of cars, but every single one was courteous, so it wasn’t too bad.
This run down State Road 45 was especially exhilarating.
We passed a lot of beautiful fields. Later in the ride, Dave said the sky had “Simpsons Clouds.”
After a while we arrived in Beanblossom, IN. We stopped under an awning to rest and have a snack, and debated whether to go for more miles, or turn back. I was feeling sluggish and it was only getting hotter, so we turned back. Naturally, after the snack I got a second wind and probably could have ridden further, but I still think it was the right choice at the time.
Our route took across across the causeway on Lake Lemon — always a favorite spot for me.
The breezy air and the number or boats made some waves on the lake.
After you cross the lake, you have to climb a big hill. There are a couple of different roads you can take. Dave and I always disagree about which one is less painful. On this ride we went with his preference and climbed on South Shore Drive.
I think this climb is particularly brutal because even though it starts out at a reasonable grade, and even lets up for a moment, you get 2/3 of the way up the hill, THEN it gets steep. By the time I reach that point, I’m often running out of energy. I was hoping that the climb wouldn’t be as bad as I remembered, but it really was about how I recalled. I made it up without stopping, but I was exhausted when I reached the top.
My preference is to climb Shuffle Creek Road. The maximum grade is higher, but the steep portion is at the bottom, and you get past it quickly and then it’s not so bad.
At any rate, the climb was doable and overall it was an excellent ride. I’m definitely itching for more rides. Unfortunately it’s getting quite hot out, and I sometimes have trouble dealing with heat. I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.
Here is our route. I’ve been using Strava lately — feel free to add me on there if you have an account.