Another Day, Another Ride


Tonight was another ride on the trail. This time around, I turned left rather than right, and ended up going to Defiance, and on through to Matson. This was a nice ride, and a change of scenery for me. Defiance has this biker-bar, and come this time of the year, it seems like there’s always a group of bikers and their hogs sitting around, drinking, smoking and cutting up. Today was no exception.

This ride was a smidgen tougher, as it seemed like I was climbing a small grade for most of the way out. The GPS seemed to bear that out, as the rode rose about 10-15 feet over the 4.6 miles out to Matson. The only weirdness was on the way back.

I was riding with my music cranked, as has become my habit lately, and a kid stopped me to tell me that his friend had taken a spill up the road a bit and was bleeding all over. He really emphasized for me to be careful. As I went on up the trail, I found three bikes and riders strewn all over the trail, along with their packs of stuff. And, yes, his friend had shown signs of going head over handlebars — scuffs on his back — but seemed to be ok otherwise.

However, this pointed out to me some of the folly of the way I ride. I’ve not been wearing a helmet, having had repairs supplies with me, nor had first aid materials with me. That’s just plain dumb for someone who is so focused on being safe and having what’s needed to keep me safe. I expect this weekend, I’ll get the helmet situation squared away, and perhaps next weekend, get the first aid and repair materials needed for a good, safe, self-sufficient ride.

Another thing on my list is a Camelbak. I tried to find one yesterday, but Ghisallo was out of them and Target tried to sell me a camping shower as a substitute. While taking a shower while riding my bike is an interesting idea, I’m not convinced that’s the right answer! 🙂 Dick’s Sporting Goods was suggested, so I’ll try there maybe this weekend.

2006 Katy Trail RideI also found a couple of very interesting bike challenges today. One of them I’m not ready for, and the other I signed up for right away. The first is called the Katy Trail Ride. This takes place in June, and is a five ride across the whole length of the trail — all 225 miles of it. There’s support teams, and folks to carry your luggage, so it’s not quite such a big trip. But, it’s billed as 35-68 miles a day, and I’m just not quite ready for that yet. My goal is to be ready next year for it, though, and take the time off to do it. No glory, just a goal for me to strive for, and a sense of accomplishment for having done something good for myself.

The other trail event is the Katy Trail Challenge, and it’s much more my speed. For this event, the goal is to ride twice the length of trail — 450 miles — over the next year. You don’t even have to ride on the trail. Riding in parks, neighborhoods, and stationary bikes all count toward the total. This is a very achieveable goal for me, and one I think I can knock out before the summer is done. As a measure, I’ve put about 95 miles of cycling under my belt this month, and that’s with not trying very hard for the first half of the month.

So keep watching, and I’ll start trying to figure out how to put some totals for the Challenge on the sidebar of the blog so you can ride along with me.