So this has been an interesting week for me! First off we have moved from my beloved state of south west Wisconsin, to northwest Indiana. I was surprised by how different things are over here, from the weather to the terrain. Where we lived we got some wind but out here it has been horrible, sending me almost toppling over on my first bike ride(more about that shortly). Eating has been tough, and I don’t know if I made the healthiest of choices. Fine, I know for a fact I did not make the healthiest of choices, but I did track it all(track it and go! Yo ho! Yo ho!).
Before I go into the fun part of this post I wanted to share a bit of a brag of sorts, I conquered a fear. When I found out we were going to need a 26′ truck with a full car carrier I freaked out. I HATE driving, and honestly am not the best at it. Big Boned BIKER not TRUCKER! After some encouragement from my wife though I decided I would give it a try. That and U-Haul(NEVER EVER WANT TO USE THEM AGAIN!!!!) moved my reservation from in Platteville to Dubuque Iowa. This meant I was going to have to drive it around a town and on the interstate anyways. Thus I said I would brave it and drive to NWI(Northwest Indiana), after all it was some easy driving and I would be going around Chicago. For the record, I want to kill my GPS, why? Simple, it sent me through Chicago with a 26′ truck and a trailer. Did I mention we got a late start and it got dark right before Chicago? Also, the headlights on my truck were pretty much useless. However, I simply found a lane to stick to and only moved if it was completely necessary. Did you know that when your driving a large truck and trailer people tend to give you more room? They also didn’t care that I was only driving 45-55 the majority of the trip. Long story short, we arrived safe and I pushed past a fear.
*happy dance *
Are you interested in hearing about my first bike ride in the area? Maybe I should make you wait a big longer? Hmmmmmmm..fine I will tell you. We got a lot of unpacking done so I decided I would go for a short ride when my oldest went down for a nap(my wife was home of course). I head out the garage and dig poor Katrina out, I can tell she didn’t like the ride in the truck. I fix her mirror and pump up the tires, load up my pannier for a half hour ride. I head out and realize I am in a brand new area, with no clue where ANYTHING is, including home. So I decided to let myself get lost, I find it is a great way to learn your way home. As I am biking around I notice just how flat everything is, even the “hills” are short and flattish. I start wondering if switching out the gears was actually a bad idea, however every time the wind gusts in my face I realize that those lower gears are going to be nice. I pedal around the area and can’t help but notice how bad the roads are here. Full of potholes and uneven/bumpy blacktop, which jars my entire body as I ride over it. I swing past a residential area and decide to try it out, I want to get a bit lost after all. I look up ahead, noticing a small path with a cement pole sitting in the middle of it. Oh ya, there is a MUP here(Multi-Use Path)! I hop on it and go merrily on my way, with a happy little ditty on my lips as I fly down the path.
I realized quickly that I had no clue how long this trail was, nor where I even picked it up. I found some folks up ahead and ask how long it is to the end. He tells me it is about 2 miles to the next parking lot area. I keep flying down the path, I don’t know how fast because I didn’t put my cyclo-computer on before I left, nor did I turn on my MapMyRun app. I find myself at the “end” of the trail and get a chance to look at a map. The trail continues on for a bit in to a shady type of town(Gary, In which was the Murder Capital of the USA until recently). I decide it would be a good spot to turn around at, I asked some other folks how long it was to the other end of the trail. They tell me 5 miles at the most, MAYBE 7. LIARS! I should have known better than to trust people on April 1st, right?
I find myself riding along though enjoying the crisp spring day, I come across “the big hill”, which is leading up to a bridge that goes over a major road. I don’t even switch gears, things are just so flat around here. I should mention that before I turned around I finally turned on my app to keep track of my speed/mileage. I found out that I was hitting up to 20mph at times, which was awesome. So after the first 5 miles I started wondering why I didn’t reach the end, and by the second I realized that the lied to me. What was suppose to be a 30min ride turned into a 3 hours ride, and I was not prepared for it. I hadn’t even filled my water bottles, the water in them was left over from the last time I filled them. I had no food, and had eaten a light lunch, leaving me in a bad state on the way home. Did I mention the wind before? Well turns out I had a great tail wind on the way down but coming home it turned into a head wind(funny how that works). It was strong enough that going around one corner it almost knocked me over. I loved the lower gearing that I had and used it with no shame. I limped home on running on empty and drank some of the water from my bottles(which I realized was left from the fall). I got home and I found myself sick to my stomach. I think it was the water, lack of food, and just over doing it. BTW Best wife in the world award goes again to my wife! Not only did she let me go out while she wrangled the kids, did some unpacking, etc. She let me hide in the bedroom till I felt better a few hours later.
I don’t know for sure how far I went, but I know I ride and average of 10mph. I was gone 3 hours so it figures out to be about 30 miles or so. So what did I learn? A few things
1. That there is an awesome bike trail near my house!!
2. Fill my water bottles even on short rides
3. Always bring some sort of food with me
4. I STILL love bike riding!
Not going to lie, I already knew number 4. The other big change is that I am moving my Weigh In day from Wednesday to Saturday. Going to be nice though having a WI in the morning, but I won’t be able to get my last chance workouts in lol.
Going to call it a night,
Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker