This weekend I went on another epic bike ride with my friends E (who went last time) and C. We decided to cover another part of the big loop of country roads, venturing out into some new territory.
It was another beautiful Sunday morning: the sky was a perfect deep blue with only a few clouds here and there, the sun was hot but not terribly so, and the humidity was bearable. That’s about the best situation one can hope for around here until it finally starts to cool off sometime in November. (I kid.) (Kind of.)
We took turns leading the group as we rolled out into the county, spotting horses, farms, abandoned gas stations, dead armadillos and squirrels, buzzards, and silos. Just getting out of town and riding down these long, narrow roads among tall evergreens is an instant pleasure. One stretch of road looked exactly like Oregon to me, with the exception of the long-needled pines (native here) in place of the shorter-needled firs (native there).
Up and down the many, many hills we went, our legs and butts (and small chain rings) getting a full workout. I enjoy about half of all hills. The downhill half! Hyuk, hyuk. But seriously, it was a really fun and challenging ride. We covered about 25 miles, not counting the miles between our homes and our on-campus starting point. I think my total for the day was about 28 miles — my longest ride to date!
My friend E is pretty experienced at long-distance cycling, and my friend C has actually done Ragbrai in the past, so I was happy just to keep up with the boys, passing them when I needed to and leading the line when it was my turn. Fun times!
As we neared home, we wound up on a stretch of road none of us had ever ridden before and what did we see but a road block — a bridge was out. Well, scheisse. We were out in the middle of the county with, yes, a map to follow should we need to find an alternate route, but also with three pretty tired sets of legs. No one wanted to have to backtrack or re-route. So we eased behind the roadblock and found a long stretch of dirt road. It looked like we could make it through.
At the spot where the bridge should be, we came upon all of the construction equipment and supplies (no one was working the site on a Sunday) and found the little makeshift bridge that was probably in use by the crews. It was narrow and tilted wildly to one side, but we managed to walk our bikes across and then lift them down the other side, where we were finally able to re-join the road.
Just a little bonus adventure!
In other, off-topic news: um, so, one of these guys? Actually my ex-guy-friend. I guess we are “friends” now? Or, friendly? Friendly-ish? I’m not sure how this is going to work out in the long run, but I think it would be nice to at least be able to do things like this on a friendly level together, especially since we work together, we share the same mutual friends, and we are two of only three bicycling people I happen to know in town.
What do you think? Can you be friends, or at least friendly, with your ex? HALP.