Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My legs hurt

Do you sense a theme with my titles?

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my mom and stepdad are athletic, outdoorsy types. I think of myself that way, but the fact is that I don't exercise much--not unless you count gardening, remodeling, cooking, and housekeeping. Sometimes I walk. Occasionally I do yoga (although the last three times I did it, it was because my mother wanted to). I always enjoy it, but I am rarely the instigator.

So, yeah. I am all for exercise, especially when nature is involved, but I don't do it much.

Today started out rainy, but the weather report said it was about to become completely beautiful--sunny, but not hot. So Mom asked if I had time to get away from my writing for a while and go for a bike ride.

A 23-mile round trip.

Hoo boy. I started counting how many years it had been since I'd straddled a bike. It was at least four. And even then, I never went further than the neighborhood coffee shop.

Then she told me there was a possibility of a malted milkshake at the Steel Trolley Diner if I did the ride. The diner was in a town at the far end of the trail--eleven and a half miles away.

She had my number. She is my mother, after all. She knows me!

This is the trail we rode. I didn't have my camera with me, but you can see some photos here. It's spectacular. Mile 1 is a wetland with wooden bridges. At Mile 3 there's a farm with gorgeous Belgian draught horses. (Confidential to s.o.: I want a horse.) Mile 5 gives you the best views of the very beautiful Little Beaver Creek. And as you wind down the hill into Lisbon, Mile 8 cuts through a limestone gorge with a quarry.

The weather was just as good as the weather report promised. We rode from sun to shade to dappled light. It was idyllic, even with the pain. And yes, there was plenty of that.

I won't pretend that I was a super athlete. I held my own. My quads were on fire, and that fire has now changed into a very assertive crampy ache from my hips all the way to my ankles. I think I am going to have a very rough morning tomorrow and might have to crawl or slide down the stairs to get my first cup of coffee.

But that chocolate malted milkshake was awfully good! Worth every mile.

P.S. Heading home, starting tomorrow. Will take two days to drive it. See you on the flip side...