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When 14 Miles on My Road Bike is Enough…

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I got home from work a little late last night. Not terribly so, only about ten minutes, but I’m usually like clockwork. The Michigan State Flower, affectionately known as the Road Construction Barrel is out on the first third of my expressway ride home and traffic is a little silly until I start heading north. I have another way home, if I choose, but that route is a little less than enjoyable so I’ve avoided it.

My wife was going to be working late and there was a slight chance of a popup shower or two so I readied the Trek. I had big plans of 23-ish solo miles. My riding buddy is out of town till this afternoon and there was plenty to do around the house so I decided to throw my high-minded goal out the window and do a nice little recovery ride before heading home to attend to some things around the house.

At a touch past 5 I wheeled my Trek out the door and threw a leg over the top tube. Right pedal, easy push off, fumble with my left foot for the pedal, snag the loop, lock in and I’m off. I don’t know when that little quirk happened, the fumbling with my left foot, but it makes me laugh every time it happens. I do know why: A lot of time on the tandem with my wife. We have two-sided mountain pedals on the tandem, so it’s vastly easier to line up a cleat and mash down on the pedal, rather than line up the toe to the loop and push the loop forward to engage the cleat.

All that time on the tandem this spring has paid dividends on the single bikes, as I hoped it would. I was a little slow heading north, but with a west-northwesterly wind, a little slow wasn’t surprising. I also had a design of a much needed active recovery ride. After three hard days on the tandem, I probably should have taken a day off, but the opportunity to ride solo and easy don’t present themselves too often. I turned left at the intersection to get some of the headwind out of the way early… and dropped like a rock from an easy 18-mph to struggling to hold 15. The headwind actually made me laugh as I rounded the corner after clearing traffic.

A mile west, then one north, turn around and back south… and then the fun part. Three miles heading east. 25-mph was fairly easy. 27 took some effort. A couple of miles south, turn around and two north, then two east and one south to the driveway. Just enough to keep the legs spun up for tonight. It was better than taking a day off, that’s for sure!

Incidentally, my daughter was cooking us a chicken taco dinner and needed a bunch of stuff from the grocery store she hadn’t counted on needing. I barely got anything done that I needed to because I had to run out shopping. Ah well, the chicken tacos were amazing. Worth it.


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