Remember how I’m toying with the idea of trying a tri? Well, if I’m really going to do it in just two months (gulp!), I figured it’s time I spend some quality time with my bike.
This morning, I got up early, loaded my bike in the car and headed to the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden.
It’s one of my favorite spots in Central Florida, and we’ve ridden on the trail many times. Last fall, we even celebrated my father-in-law’s 79th birthday with a long bike ride together, so if you’re interested in many more pictures of the trail, check out that post.
When I left my house at about 7:15 (I’m not much of a morning person, so that’s as good as I could do!), it was so humid and miserable. To be honest, I considered bailing (I’m also not that much of a dedicated exerciser). But I was pleasantly surprised to find it was (or at least felt) several degrees cooler on the trail, plus it’s mostly shaded.
I’m going to have to work on my bike riding self-portrait. I don’t know how Meghann does them so well without wrecking!
When I’m on the West Orange Trail, I’m always excited to pass by two of my favorite sights. The first is a shed where a crazy FSU fan always updates the messages on his billboard.
The second is the bridge that passes over the Turnpike. It just helps remind me that this trail follows old railroad tracks through “old Florida.”
My plan going into the ride was to do 10 miles, then possibly run a couple miles, depending on how I felt. It’s 5 miles from the Winter Garden station to the next one, at the Orange-Lake county line. But when I got to the county line, I was feeling pretty good and then I noticed that the trail kept going. I took a look at the new map and decided to check it out.
Know what didn’t help me on my quest for the waterfront? Hills. WTF Florida? I thought you were as flat as me in 7th grade. Guess not.
Those bee-atches sucked! About half-way up every hill I hit, I had to stand up on my bike. And every time I did, I heard the Tour de France announcers in my head saying, “She’s left the saddle!” with a hint of shock and disappointment. Oh well. At least I made it up them.
I did find two reasons to love the hills. The most obvious reason was physics — what goes up, must come down. Coasting (actually flying!) downhill is just flat-out fun and reminds me of flying down hills and all Evel Knievel stunts my cousins and I used to do on our grandparents’ farm.
About 4 miles in, I had a no duh moment — there’s a reason bike shorts exist. That extra material is your thighs’ friend. Note to self: invest in more biking shorts. And the padding would help too. Let’s just say all my ladybits still aren’t over the trauma of pregnancy and childbirth.
So, as you can tell, the hills were kicking my ass and my thighs were screaming in pain — and the mystical waterfront was nowhere to be found. I finally gave up at mile 3 and started heading back.
Going back was OK but it was starting to heat up. And there were times that I felt like some of the
walkers runners on the trail were moving faster than me.
But you know what? I made it. And at the end of the day, I logged 16 miles on the bike. Not bad for a morning. Needless to say, though, the run did not happen.
After loading my bike back into my car, I hobbled down Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden to get some coffee. I’m glad I did. I found my new favorite place — Axum Coffee. Have you ever seen Pour Over Coffee? First, you choose your beans:
Then, they grind your beans and brew it right in front of you by placing the grinds in a filter and pouring super-hot water over them. Very cool. The nice coffeeman (I think Starbucks would sue me if I called a coffeemaker at another establishment a barista) explained how you can see the grinds “blossom” during the process.
Meanwhile, back at the homestead, DadJovi and E. were on their own adventure. They went for a walk this morning, and look what was wondering around our neighborhood — a peacock!
What was your biggest exercise equipment fail? And is there a magic cure for chafed inner thighs? Please tell me that there is.