Well, I brought both my tennis gear and my bike to work, but it was cycling that won my favor.
It was hot, and I knew it could be a tough slog, so I started guzzling water during the afternoon, getting set for what I was planning as 10 miles of riding, and then an hour or so of tennis. Mr. Slate pulled the birdie’s tail right around 4.15, so I filled my CamelBak and scampered off to the trail.
I’d decided to work north (east?) on the trail tonight from the Weldon Spring trailhead [MM 56], as I hadn’t been up that way in a few weeks. That’s a lonlier stretch of trail than the path toward Defiance, as there’s no sign of humanity for five miles until reaching the I-64 bridges scores of feet above your head, and nowhere to grab some water or a snack.
Up the trail I went, and sure enough, by the time three miles were behind me, I was ready to turn around. I decided though that I would work through this tough part of my return to the trail (there’s a little bit of a slope) and my lack of riding for a week, and try to at least get to the bridge a couple of miles up the road.
And once I got there, I decided to try to get to Pitman Hill Road. It was just a couple of more miles up the road, and had been the farthest up this part of the trail I’d travelled. And then I decided upon arriving there to continue up the trail. I wound up at Caulks Hill Road [MM 46.5], 10.5 miles up the trail, and decided it was time to turn around.
What an exhiliarating ride! It seems like once I get past the first few miles, the road just starts flying beneath me. It is such a wonderful feeling! Tonight’s return to the trail was triumphant for me — my second longest undertaking since returning to the bike six weeks ago — and I can’t wait to see where my bike takes me next!