I know, I know. It’s September already and I haven’t blogged about my treks since July 8th. Honestly, I haven’t broken my record 17.626 miles in one ride with my blue beauty yet, and my treks haven’t been all that exciting. 10 miles here, 15 miles there, another 12 miles here, a sad 7 mile ride (which I intended to be twice that, but cut short as I wasn’t feeling well and the high humidity did me in that day), and one day a 16.59 mile ride – all around my little tri-town area of Millbury, Sutton, and Grafton, MA. One weekend I didn’t ride at all due to on & off thunder storms, and another weekend was so hot & humid that I spent both days swimming at my Dad’s instead of cycling.
Admittedly, I’ve grown rather frustrated. With all my diet and exercise since mid-April, I’ve only lost 3 lousy pounds. Haven’t trimmed down even half as much as I had hoped (welcome to life over the age of 40 – metabolism just ain’t what it used to be, and all the stress I’ve been under with some financial issues certainly hasn’t helped).
I’ve also been feeling the need for a change of scenery, and I’ve been longing for some seaside cycling. I had thought at least once this summer, a trip to the Cape Cod bike paths or Colt State Park in RI with friends would have been coordinated and carried out as discussed back in early spring. I was mistaken. And sans ownership of a car this summer, I couldn’t just go alone. So I pushed myself to keep trekking around town, telling myself that next season I’ll have sorted some issues out and I’ll be able to attack my bigger and better cycling goals, on my own since I clearly can’t count on others.
But don’t get me wrong, while I’m seriously hating all the steep hills and lack of a sea breeze around here these days, I still found some fun on my local Trek trips.
One day, I came across a random playing card in the middle of the road. A 3 no less, my favorite number.
Some sort of sign perhaps? I don’t know, but as I picked up the card & stuffed it in the side pocket of my bike bag, it reminded of magician Steve Valentine and his crazy card tricks, which made me smile as I continued on my journey.
One Sunday morning, my friend Stephanie offered to be my cycling buddy. We rode the Blackstone River Bikeway, met some friends back in the center of town for breakfast out, then cycled a few miles back to her house where we played some fetch with her fun fur-kid, Neela.
Another day, I went on a muddy off-road adventure over some trails a couple miles down the street from me.
One interesting thing to see along these trails is how Mother Nature has taken over where this old farm and its house used to be.
After this I cycled over to Dad’s for some hang time and a swim in the pool before making my way home for the day.
Don’t let the picture fool ya. I’ll be honest here. It’s thanks to the compression pants and the pose for making me look trimmer than I actually am.
Yesterday afternoon I set out on a trek with the goal of reaching Silver Lake in Grafton. Turned out there were just too many Massholes out and about (read people driving like maniacs, going way too fast and getting too close to me for comfort). For goodness sake, it’s a holiday weekend! What’s everyone in such a rush for?
On one back road, some speed demon was coming up on me quick, so I pulled off the road to let him/her pass. Muttering a few curse words to myself as the car zipped by at what had to have been at least twice the speed limit for this road, I was startled when off to my right I heard “Baaah Baaah Baaah”. I turned to find these two talking away at me.
Awww. I like goats. And I love the willow tree, though I couldn’t help but laugh at the several vehicles buried in the overgrowth in this back yard. Rather takes away from the natural beauty of the tree. (Insert Redneck joke here.)
After a few more miles of close encounters with crazy drivers, I decided that a super long ride was just not a safe bet this day, and I stopped at Wong’s to cool off a bit in the A/C and get my water bottle refilled. Considered calling a chase vehicle to come get me and my bike as I wasn’t sure I wanted to brave the 8ish miles home via the route I planned back. As I was mulling this over, some friends came in so I stuck around a while to chat.
Not that there weren’t some crazy characters at Wong’s, but they weren’t as likely to kill me as the Masshole drivers. Or were they? Um, McCarthy, what ARE you doing?!?!
LOL He was just trying to show us he remembered to bring this tool that one of our friends had asked to borrow, but it sure does look like he’s fixing to attack my bike with it.
Another friend, Ray, stopped in after a Sunday cruise with his own blue beauty which I admired as I was gearing myself up to head for home.
At this time it was around 5:00 pm and I was thinking the roads would be quieter being that it was prime time for holiday grill outs. It was a bit better heading back. But no, Wong’s friends, it’s most certainly NOT all downhill!!! Getting out of the center of Grafton is really the only easy downhill ride on my way home.
One last little detour along the way, to Norcross Park, simply because I had yet to see the “mini Fenway” ball field that had been built there a few years ago.
That about sums up the last several weeks of my treks around town.
In closing, I’d like to take a moment to give a shout out to all those across the pond in England who volunteered for and/or cycled the Southend Bikeathon fundraising event for Leukemia & Lymphoma research yesterday. It looks like the event was a big success and folks had lots of fun. I may have been here in the states, but my spirit was there with a special someone participating in this worthy cause. Well done everyone! And super special kudos to my Southend Sweetheart, Richard, on 34 miles of cycling yesterday, and on exceeding his target goal of raising £150.00 in donations. You’ve made your “drill sergeant” very proud to have supported you throughout your training and during the big day.