I took a bike ride yesterday. You'd think that was a good thing, wouldn't you? It started innocently enough. I took the dog out for a pee and was surprised at what a gorgeous, sunny day it was. I’d been so busy working inside that I hadn’t even noticed. So I changed into shorts and a tank top, strapped on my helmet, and hit the road.
The trouble started almost immediately. For one thing, I am not in good shape. An amoeba has better shape than I do. For another, I am 41 years old. Forty one year olds who have not recently participated in regular exercise should not attempt to ride a bike up a hill in eighty degree heat.
I told myself I was tougher than the bike. I remembered how much I enjoy riding. I cursed a lot. Then I reached the end of my block. I thought about turning around. But I didn’t. I decided to ride a five mile loop, and mentally plotted the route I would take as I pedaled along. I live in the Midwest where the winters are long. I was determined not to waste the gorgeous fall day.
As I neared the end of my loop I realized that I would have to travel – uphill - on the overpass in order to get home. I didn’t think I could make it. I really didn’t. After all, I’d ridden nearly five miles after an entire summer of relative inactivity. True, my odometer didn’t seem to be working but I knew it had been five miles because I’d counted the city blocks. Plus it was HOT outside. I’d neglected to bring my water bottle on this journey. I was probably dehydrated. I would never make it over the overpass. I would pass out halfway up and tumble off my bike, over the railing, and down the hill to my death.
As I approached the overpass I decided to just try it. I told myself I could get off the bike and walk it if I wanted to. Hell, I could call Walker to come pick us both up in the van if I really wanted to. But I didn’t. I stayed on the bike, and slowly, slowly, I pushed myself up that hill. At the top, I paused to catch my breath and was rewarded with a beautiful sight: Virginia creeper vine, all decked out in her fall crimson.
When I finally got home I fiddled with my odometer and guess what? I hadn’t even gone five miles. The odometer read 3.53. So much for my math skills. But at least I have a pretty picture for my blog.
Hope you enjoy Ruby Tuesday!