Friday, May 23, 2008

Fat guys on bikes; Season 3

Episode 1:
OK, this is the first official ride of my third summer with a bicycle.

Ya know, it took me nearly a half an hour to figure out how to put the bike-rack back on my car. But once it was on, I was ready to roll.
Solo ride today. Started out around 10:00 this morning, which is much later than usual. The trail was a bit more crowded than I'm used to.

I know that two people on the trail ahead of me hardly constitutes "crowded", but this was after I got away from the parking area. There were about a dozen kids there with a trailer and a few adults preparing things for them all. I couldn't get away fast enough.
Anyways, since I was by myself, I didn't have to worry about anyone else's schedule. I just plugged in ear buds, cranked up some tunes on my wonderful Creative Zen media player, and off I went.

Saw these right away.

I have no idea what any of them are, all I know is I think they're very pretty. Especially these pink ones.

Took my first break at one of our favorite spots along the trail. This is the Youghigheny River.

I just like the view from this spot. It's nice from either direction, up or down stream.

Continued on from here to another favorite spot.

This is another one of those views that I absolutely love. I'm especially geeked about catching the shadow from the cloud as it passed over the hillside.

Then there are the little things like this waterfall that show up all along the ride that make it so enjoyable.

Some of them are kinda nasty looking and discolored with chemicals or mineral deposits. But I'll spare you from having to see those.

And then I saw this...

Something tells me that the weather of late has not been kind to our beloved Yough Trail. Considering that those massive tracks you see behind the machinery ran almost the entire length of my ride from this point on today, you can guess that there's been some cleaning up needed.
And here was the worst spot of all.

This pic doesn't even scratch the surface of how bad this area was. There was a huge tree fallen down just a little bit further behind where I was standing when I took this shot. There were several logs already cut up on the side. The trail itself was rough and muddy. You could tell it was recently covered with mud and debris. It was not a pretty sight. But I'm not complaining, I'm actually quite impressed with the clean up effort. They did good getting it back in shape for the new season.

I managed to get in about 15 miles or so. I can't really say anymore because the little odometer thingy on my bike is nowhere near accurate. At the first mile marker on the trail it read .94 miles. By the time I hit the 5 mile marker it was reading 5.6. So when I stopped at a little pavilion to eat an orange and drink some water, before turning around for the return ride, it was reading 7.7. When I got back to my car it was well over 16. Go figure.

Of course, after the ride I was quite hungry. so I opted for Wendy's. And it's quite funny that I should bump into someone I haven't seen in nearly 20 years. I think two of my regular readers might remember him. His name is Mark "the beaver" Landry. And I had been wondering about him and some of the other people I knew from our old youth group. It was really cool to run into him and say "Hey".

All in all, a really great day. So stay tuned for further episodes of Fat guys on Bikes coming this summer. Starring yours truly, and the usual cast of characters. But you'll have to excuse me now since I'm still feeling kinda rubber-legged. And I do have an appointment with my bed for a nice nap.

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Blogger Jeff A said...

I need to get some pedals for my bike so I can go riding. I didn't ride at all last year because I Had to use the big knee brace that did not quite bend enough on the upswing of the pedal. I can use my soft brace occasionally now so I can get back on the bike. I used to love to ride at night on the trail we have here!

1:24 AM  
Blogger M+ said...

I imagine you've got some nice trails out there in Indiana. I enjoyed how flat my ride from Ft. Recovery into Portland was last summer. And the scenery was great.
See these posts:

Night riding? I'd love to be able to ride at night on our trails, but they're not lit.

6:34 AM  

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