Now I thought I’d be able to keep a good pace and keep up with these folks, having seen what my pace is like with my stationary bike at home. Man, was I wrong! Within ten minutes, they were all ahead of me, and after five minutes more, they were out of sight. Part of it was, I’m sure, the difference in riding the stationary bike compared to riding on the trail, but I think the biggest part had to do with approach.
I was out there to get some exercise, but I was also out there to enjoy nature. For me, this ride was about the journey, not the destination, or how many miles I could ride. I saw a beaver, snapped photos of a turtle on the trail, listened to geese and frogs, and rejoiced in the simple splendor of this place God created. It was beautiful, and in the beauty, I could reflect, think, relax, and simply be. That was terrific!
I’d never been on the Katy Trail before, and I had no idea it was so beautiful. The trail at this point meanders through a shady grove of enormous trees, following the edge of a large body of water. With all the rain recently, the water was quite high, and in places, had the look of swampy marshes. I didn’t realize that kind of landscape existed in my backyard! The greens of the grasses and the algae on the water were the most amazing green I’ve ever seen. They almost had a luminescence to them, like they were lit from inside.
I met my group — they had just doubled back — at about 4.6 miles, and we rode back to the lot, again staggering me to far rear. Thereafter, the spell of the ride and the beauty of this spot was broken as one of them started talking office politics. In truth, it was a technical discussion that evokes office politics, but it might as well be the same. Again, a difference in approach I think. For me, this sort of thing is the release, the escape from the office, and a way to entice myself not to think about the happenings inside the walls of our building.
I headed home, sore, but thrilled at having gotten out there and ridden a little over nine miles. I’ll definitely go back to experience and photograph more of that area at my pace — it was far too beautiful to rush through!
I carried my camera in my backpack, and I think I wanna have some kind of bag that’s easy to get to on the bike to carry the camera. I also need a handlebar mount for my GPS — that’s the only way I know the speed and distance (although there are mile-markers on the trail). I also think I need a different seat, or at least need to adjust the tilt differently — it just wasn’t comfortable over that length of ride for me. That could be my physique’s fault though! 🙂
There was no pain in my ankle, and that’s great news. Tomorrow is my return to tennis — we’ll see how that goes!