I prepared my lunch the night before this time to save time in the morning. But I made up for that by walking the dogs before I left for the ride. Last week, I didn't walk them because I was too sore and tired after my long ride and I didn't want that to happen again. Then, I left them outside afterward since it promised to be a nice day.
I drove out to Tribble Mill Park. I had mapped out a route that would be mostly on roads I had never been on, I thought. But I was wrong, I had been on almost all the roads on different rides. So much for that.
From the park, I went out on Callie Still RD where a family of goats were hanging out with their super friendly "guard dog". He came right up to the fence, stuck his head out as far as he could and wagged like crazy. So I petted him for a few minutes. I wasn't too far into my ride and I already had to take a layer off.
I had already figured out that I had been on this road before but I didn't really know where I was exactly, or how I had been on this road before...still haven't figured that one out but I recognized houses and then came the reserviour which I know I've biked past but really don't know when.
It was a nice spot to stop and have lunch.
This tree has Kudzu vines (dormant) hanging all over it. Won't be long before the kudzu completely kills the tree.
I looked in a field and saw a guy riding his horse. He appeared to be a good horse trainer putting the horse through its paces. He had the horse high stepping across the whole field. He left the field, still high stepping, came down the driveway. I stopped my bike to watch and when the guy reached the end of the driveway, the guy said sharply, "Whoa!" The horse stopped immediately. It was a very obedient horse indeed. Then they turned around and headed back to the field with more high stepping.
I had hopes of riding 50 miles but knew that last week I was dead at 40 and didn't think I would manage 50 this week either. But the winds and hills must have had better combinations because I actually did manage 50 miles, 50.08 to be exact. It took me 6 1/2 hours compared to last week's ride of 40 miles at 6 hours. This past week, I was depressed about how slow I am on my bike now. Well, I'm not normally fast, but slow even for me. I was depressed about the fact that I sold my Bianchi because I really wanted a light road bike instead of always having to ride my clunky touring bike. I was depressed mainly because I wasn't getting nearly enough sleep but that was the way it was manifesting itself. But the ride made me feel better...probably because the endorphins mainly but seeing so much improvement in one week really helped too. So maybe I don't have a light, fast road bike, I still have a reliable bike and I know how lucky I am. I can't wish for more than that.
So, back at the park, the sun was setting over the lake. This pic doesn't show it very well but Adam says we need more pics of me since I'm always the one taking pictures, it's hard to be in them. Anyway, here's one of me with 1//2 mile to go to my car.
I ran into a dog (not literally) on the bike trail. He was very skinny and rooting through the leaves looking for food. He was skittish and wouldn't let me get close to him. He had a collar on so I wanted to see if I could read his tag. He didn't have one. So I took the half egg salad sandwich I still had in my bag, bit it into bite sized pieces and threw them to him. Each time it hit the ground, he would run away, then back to it. Poor scared dog.
Back on the move again, I spied an egret on the edge of the lake behind some brush. I had to spook it a little to get it to come out of hiding so I could get a picture of it. But he tired of that quickly and flew away.
It had been so warm that I was in my summer cycling gear, short sleeved jersey, shorts and fingerless gloves. It was so perfect! Still getting used to the saddle again though. I think it's time for a new one. It's 12 years old and well past the prime of life. I want a Brooks, a leather saddle that lasts a lifetime, or more. I rode one on Dan Lundell's bike that he lent me for a year and I loved it.