Posted by: fizzhogg | August 19, 2010

A 25.7 mile day off

One of the many things I love about this cycling thing is finding new places to ride. There are a ton of cool looking (via the Net), car-free bikeways around St. Louis. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are on the complete other side of the city from me. It’s almost an hour by car to any of the cool ones.

But today I traveled to Grant’s Trail – an 8-mile, fully paved path that runs through urban areas, wooded areas, under and over train tracks, alongside horse farms, and spiders off a couple of places to add another four miles to the total.

Midwest vs Southwest

I’ve ridden some in Arizona. I like riding there very much, but honestly, it’s because of Hova – the sherpa guide – and the PT. They push me, they drive me, they come up with ideas like, “Let’s ride up Mt. Lemmon.”

It’s not the scenery that makes me enjoy riding in Arizona, though the Santa Catalinas are pretty amazing:

But around here I have no Hova or The PT. But I love riding. The scenery is one of the big things, especially when it’s a day like today – weather perfect, riding a new place, and lots of green.

After a few miles the trail begins to climb through the woods. Now, climbing isn’t always a favorite thing, particularly when you’re on a more casual, less intense ride. But if you have to climb, what’s better than climbing through a green forest like this?

I rode easy today. I pushed myself on some TT-like flat stretches, and climbed whatever there was to climb, but today’s ride was for fun.

Newbie cycling secret #23 – you can train all you want, but always make sure you ride just for fun every now and then.

I stopped a few times to snap photos and just enjoy the scenery. Note the red stripe of my Armadillos, like my buddy Jens Voigt rides.

I even stopped with some other cyclists for a train.

I was truly enjoying the day and the ride. I was thinking how fortunate it was that I chose to drive 25 minutes to this new place. It felt tailor-made for me. And then, as I took one of the extensions off the main bikeway – one that rolls through a park – I saw a sign, and realized why this ride seemed so perfect.

Clydesdale Park? Are you kidding me? Wait, folks, there’s more. Not only was the park named for cyclists just like myself, but there were even some fellow Clydesdales hanging round the main path, cheering me on.

In the end, I rode 25.7 miles. But today wasn’t a day for the 2K in 2K10 Unfat Project.

Today was a day for Clydesdales and trees and creeks and just feeling good on a bike.

Eat better.

Keep riding.

Lose the gut.

Fair winds and following seas, Willy

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