Heading for home a holiday weekend is always a great thing. I was extra excited for this weekend because I brought my bike along and spent some time on the drive home plotting out my ride. So Saturday morning I headed out on a nice square route. I can ride 20 miles without any problem, but I'm used to riding almost entirely on trails, which for the most part have very even grade, so this 20 mile ride brought something more the just new scenery and road-riding instead of trails...hills, and lots of them. In addition to a decent headwind, the hilliest seven miles I've ridden led to me taking a short breather when I made it to Riverton to determine whether or not I would be resurrecting my ill-thought out breakfast. Managing to keep everything down, I was able to enjoy the remaining 13 miles. Despite the strenuous start, it really was a great ride, fun terrain, intense workout, familiar scenery, and I got to zoom down Stoney Point to finish it off, hitting 33 mph! I am going to have to find some good low-traffic roads around Des Moines that I can ride. The hills make it a much better workout and more fun too. 20 miles, 1 hr 20 min.
A fun sidenote: I stopped at the gas station in Shenandoah to gas up and get a pop for the drive back to Des Moines and as I was filling up, a guy walks over and is looking at the back of my car. He says, "I'm just checking out your bike!" The man is 68 years old (he told me later) and wearing overalls and a seed corn cap. Not sure how to reply to this, I just say, "Yeah?" He then goes on to ask if it is a racing bike and notes that it is a Trek. I share that I like it a lot and had a Trek before it and liked that one as well. He then shares with me that he has a Trek 7500 and that he loves it. I couldn't help smiling. We went on a talked about bike shops (he says Thurman's bike shop's new location is really impressive) and how he had started biking again after nearly 50 years away from it, He walked inside the station with me, telling me about a guy he knew who lived a few blocks away who was 91, also rode a Trek, and 'did a good job of it!' It was a highly enjoyable conversation and one of those circumstances where people don't act the way you expected. I mean, this is a gas station that still reeks like cigarettes and the flyers in the men's bathroom advertise tractor pulls, poker tournaments, demolition derbies and antique car rallies. Now I don't like to brag, but I have to say that 'the firefly' is a sharp looking bike, but even still, discussing the merits of Trek bicycles with a septagenarian farmer was not something I'd guessed on occuring.