Summer, Summer, Summer

Happy July 4th long weekend!

I woke up before dawn this morning. My first thought was to quickly eat and get in one of those watch-the-sun-come-up rides. But when I looked out the window, I saw fog.

Time for Plan B. Which went like this.

Leisurely breakfast of cereal with milk and blueberries, OJ and coffee.

Dress and get stuff together.

Put rack in the back of the truck, pump up tires and load bike.

Head east towards Nashville and the greenways.

Turn around because I forgot my gloves.

Head out again.

I parked at the Kohl’s trailhead. I was amazed at the number of cars and people. Got shoed and helmeted and headed out to the Stones River Greenway.

This trail is hilly but very shady. I was wearing a shimmel rather than a full jersey. So for about a mile I was actually a tad cool. Sadly that didn’t last long.

Also after about a mile I realized I had forgotten to hit the start button on my Garmin.

My legs felt like mush. This trail ends in a steep hill coming out in front of Two Rivers High. I actually walked it. I haven’t walked a hill in a long time. Then the path enters Two Rivers Park.

My legs still felt like lead so had a rough time on the hills in this pretty little park. Plus it was really starting to heat up. So I stopped to cool off next to the skateboard park.

The next part is heading across the big pedestrian bridge across the Cumberland River. I caught a glimpse of the Delta Queen docked upriver as I crossed. Then on the other side you go down a big spiral down to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway.

My plans for this side of the river was to turn down sections of the trail I had never ridden before. With that in mind, I the bottom of the spiral I turned left rather than right. That headed me toward Peeler Park. This section of the trail is a flat, pleasant ride, but uneventful. I rode to the end of the trail, turned around and headed back, taking one little spur off and around.

I headed back and past the Pedestrian bridge towards Shelby Park. I took every right turn to see where it went. The first two were neighborhood connectors, so were just ride to the end and turn around.

The third took me into Shelby Park. I rode by the nature center and the iconic railroad bridge soaring high in the sky. Then curved back to the main path, coming out at the main trailhead. Then I started the direct route back.

Due to my circuitous route, I kept passing the same people over and over again.When I passed two guys walking for the third or fourth time, I announced, “Last pass!” and they were going, “No!”

When I got back to the big spiral up, I was afraid I’d have to walk part of it. But I made it up and stopped to mop the sweat out of my eyes. By then it was really getting hot.

As I headed back through Two Rivers Park, I was really cooked. I finally realized it was more than four hours since that pre-dawn cereal and I needed to eat something. Close to a bonk and still a few miles from the car. That’s why I always carry something to eat, today a lemon Luna Bar. So I sat by the trail and had half the bar with some cool drink. I should have eaten that much earlier and I would have had a much better ride.

Happily that big hill was all down this time. In the last couple of miles, I got a bit uncomfortable. I had a mosquito bite right over a sit bone. Ouch.

By the time I got to the end of the trail I was done. Stick a fork in me.

The trails were very busy. But people were amazingly polite. I had some odd instances. One was an errant toddler just freed from her stroller while mom was on her cell phone. I had to nearly stop for that one. I announced her to some oncoming riders.

Also a Grandma, out with the family who didn’t quite grasp that she needed to move over to her side of the trail as I came toward her. Her family was saying, “Mom, Bike!”

The only really odd one was as I was passing a runner, announced, “On your left.” He replied, “Well, I’m on your right.” OOOkay. I just laughed.

I stopped by the Bike Pedlar to pick up some bar plugs. The ones that come with the tape are crappy. Freebies!

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~ by susancyclist on July 2, 2011.

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