Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm back. Well, kind of.

Psychoticbumpschool - Bootsy Collins

I was totally nervous about today's ride. Did I still have the bike handling skills? Could I handle 40 miles? Was I being stupid, would I have to turn around after 5 or 8 miles? What an awesome day, where even ending with a major headache was a triumph. Wait, what? Is this some side effect of back pain? Nope. It's an effect of the hot afternoon sun (it was 86 today) and the pollen in the air (my tire was rolling with a green tread all day).

So I got a late start because I'm so out of the routine of going on a real bike ride. I gathered all the stuff I'd need...gloves, bike shoes, bottle of gatorade, helmet. I put my clipless pedals on my singlespeed bike. I couldn't find my bike computer. Crap. No worries, though, I could use Nancy's data.

Picked up Nance, and we were both a little nervous, she'd been sick, and I'd been gimpy. We got riding, and it felt natural, but spooky. And then, it was normal. The only concession I was making was taking descending corners a little too carefully. Woohoo! The ride was great on the way out, lunch at Mellow Mushroom was yummy (Tempeh Hoagie, hot pretzel appetizer). Now on the way back, I thought I was buying some dark berry flavor of gatorade, but it was just some nasty grape. Let me tell you, when that stuff gets hot, it's nasty. On the way back, I started to get a headache from the hot sun and the pollen. It got pretty bad, and at mile 34, we found a corner grocery and got some bev and tylenol. That helped, after the ride. Even being miserable from headache couldn't dampen the day, though.

THIS is the light at the end of the tunnel, and thank goodness. It's about time.

Photo gallery of the day, with commenteering:

There's a wooden walkway along a primeval looking river at mile 9. We spent ten minutes watching this grey heron fishing.
From Gainesville Ride 3-28

The river itself:
From Gainesville Ride 3-28

Cypress knees. I'd never seen them until I came to Florida. Knowing what these are made the B-52's 'Junebug' make sense.
From Gainesville Ride 3-28

At about mile 10, there's a 3/4 mile spur off the main path (this is a paved rail trail), and there's a seating/observation spot. You get a great overlook of this plain/lake. During this time of the year, it's all grass, and it's not unusual to see horses grazing. During wetter times of the year, though, it's totally flooded. I love the Spanish moss.
From Gainesville Ride 3-28

From Gainesville Ride 3-28

This big ol' tree was encountered as we made our way around Gainesville itself. We'd just left the gas station (gatorade), where a disabled and angry middle aged woman in a wheelchair was screeching derangedly at her parents.
From Gainesville Ride 3-28

5 miles from the end of our ride, we had to hit this shop for drinks and tylenol. My head was killing me.
From Gainesville Ride 3-28

From Gainesville Ride 3-28

At the end of the ride, we always end up at the Kangaroo Convenience Store (store motto: Hop In!) for drinks and post ride snack. I liked their note.
From Gainesville Ride 3-28

Let the beat control you.


one little simitopian said...

Congrats for getting back on da bike! It must be a relief!
Those photos are lovely- looks like a beautiful place.
Yay for the Bootz :D I'm enjoying your varied musical taste!

drollgirl said...

i am so excited for you! back in the game!

and i cannot imagine being able to bike (or walk) 40 miles. crimony. that is AMAZING.

congratulations. you must feel amazing!

sexypoet said...

i'm glad you enjoyed your day. i know how much you were looking forward to getting back on the bike again.. love pic number 2. (by far my favorite pic of all pics) i also love the mossy trees. (just like the one on my property that i love)

lightning in a bottle said...

wicked awesome that you accomplished 40 miles on your first official ride out. what a great feeling! and the pictures are great. it gives a sense of being there with you and nance!

Magic Pants Jones said...

Thanks everyone! It is a huge weight off my shoulders. And 40 miles isn't so bad if you take a lunch break in the middle...and if you have good shorts.

jadecryingwolf said...

Congrats on that killer ride. I love the picture of the river the most. I might like to frame it and hang it in my little beach cottage on the Pacific, with your permission, of course. It reminds me of the beauty of nature in other parts of the world - so contrary to the beauty I see every day on the West Coast. Thank you for sharing.