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Archive for the 'Bicycling' Category

Supermoon Night Ride

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Last night was a supermoon —  in fact, it was expected to be the brightest full moon of the entire year. Final exams wrapped up last week, and Dave suggested a night mountain bike ride Saturday to coincide with the supermoon. I of course accepted.

We did a variation on our “secret night ride” route we’ve done a few times before (see here and here). It was an excellent ride. Even though it’s not long in terms of distance, we certainly got our share of adventure as we rolled through the woods on muddy, puddle-riddled trails, listening to the coyotes yipping and howling and the whippoorwills whippoorwilling. We watched toads hopping across the trail in our headlight beams, and later, spider eyes glimmering back at us.

One of the route changes involved climbing up on an old eroded horse trail which we had ridden down before, which was difficult enough. However,  climbing it was another story, as we discovered. The trail was steep and the ground wet and slick and we had to push our bikes up for quite some time.

It was also Cinco de Mayo, and Dave had the presence of mind to bring some margaritas in his backpack. Drinking margaritas in the middle of the woods at night was a blast.

An amazing moment occurred as we flew downhill on a gravel road toward a lake, seeing the supermoon rising over the lake with the incredibly loud sounds of buzzing, chirping insects and croaking toads enveloping us.

It was very much the kind of ride I needed. Fun, with a sense of adventure but without being too epic, and great company to top it off. I need more rides like this one!

Still here …

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

It’s hard to believe it’s been over four months since I posted anything here. It’s a travesty!

I’m still here, but school and my contract work have been keeping me busy. I haven’t been riding much. I was at least commuting most of the time through late February, but then I got out of the routine of commuting by bicycle for most of March. I did manage a couple road rides during that time, but nothing else. Instead of riding to class, I took the bus a lot, and sometimes even drove (due to an odd set of circumstances, we ended up with a second car, so driving is an option for me now, although parking is expensive near campus).

A number of my bike/blog friends are doing 30 Days of Biking during April, that is, riding every single day in April. I’m not doing that, but I have at least started commuting every day again. I’m a creature of habit, and I feel like I’m already back in my riding routine.

One thing that is interesting to note is that there is a massive amount of construction in Bloomington right now. Anywhere you drive, the construction is an obstacle. However, my bike commute route is completely unaffected. I guess those low-traffic roads just don’t need as much work, and they are less likely to be undergoing “improvement.”

I’ve also been having a few health issues, nothing serious but enough to prevent me from riding at times. Nothing serious, I think, but I have a doctor’s appointment coming up, so hopefully we can figure out some of the problems I’ve been having.

School is great, I’m loving it and learning a whole lot. It is, however, sapping all my energy. I almost got out for a ride on Sunday but then had to spend the day working on stuff for a project. I’m hoping I can get out for something more than a commute soon.

 

Christmas Eve ride

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

On Christmas Eve, Dave and I had planned on riding. It was almost another aborted ride, as my dog Rob got sick in the morning and Sarah and I had to take him to the vet (he seems to be doing OK now). The only time the vet had available was  during the short window Dave had to ride. But I talked to him after the vet and he said he schedule had opened up. So, we were able to ride!

Neither of us had ridden much for a while, so we decided on about a 27-mile route and moseyed the whole way. This ride was exactly what I needed: a relaxing ride, not too tough in terms of distance or pace. Though there was a decent amount of climbing, it was much easier at our relaxed pace.

It was an unseasonably warm day, probably in the upper 40s. And sunny skies. Aside from a little wind, it was a fantastic day for a ride. We rode a subset of this ride, but we did the loop in the opposite direction. So there were no new roads, but we rode some in a new direction.

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Carmel Ridge Road was one highlight, but in this direction, it was mostly climbing.

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These folks had their own private bridge. The sign over it read “Rodgers’ Bridge over Branstetter Hollar.” Nice.

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As time wore on, the shadows grew longer.

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Somewhere along the way, Dave’s knee  started acting up. And then his other knee. He has had some knee problems on and off for a while now, and they certainly were bothering him on this ride. I think it may have hampered his ability to enjoy the ride … which is too bad because I found it very fun and relaxing.

We passed some very interesting barns and cabins.

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Another highlight of the ride came after a nice long descent on Lick Creek Road, as the road traversed flat creek bottoms for a couple of miles, following Lick Creek for a while.

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We passed this huge house with a beautiful pond in front of it, somewhere along State Road 45.

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We saw some lovely hills along Indian Hills Road.

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Soon w were approaching Lake Lemon.

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The sun set as we rode across the causeway on the lake.

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Just one last (killer) hill, and we were back at Dave’s house, where we started our ride. A great end to a great ride. Rides have been too few and far between, but I am certainly enjoying them, when the opportunity arises.

 

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