Saturday Morning RideI love to ride my bicycle and shoot for at least 5 days a week and a minimum of 25 miles each ride. My favorite ride of the week is Saturday morning. On Friday night before I go to bed I make sure everything is ready for Saturday morning. I get out my cycling shorts and jersey so Saturday morning I can get right into them. I go out to the garage and check the tires on my bike pumping them up 125 PSI so my bike will be ready Saturday morning. I will fill my water bottles about one third full and then put them in the freezer so in the morning I just need to top them off with water.
On Saturday morning I get about 6 AM and put my cycling outfit and top off my water bottles and head out to my bike. I check the temperature and decide which cycling shoes to wear today. If it is pretty cool I will put on my full coverage shoes otherwise I will put on my cycling sandals. Both pairs of shoes have clips in them for the pedals on my bike. I put on my cycling helmet and I am ready to ride.
It is about 6:15 AM and I am on my bike and starting my ride. I only live a couple of blocks from the bike path which is my destination. There are not many people out at this time of the morning as I ride out. When I get to the bike path it is almost deserted this time of the morning. The people you see at this time of the day are serious about the morning workout, a few joggers and other bikers are all you see. I enjoy my scenery to start the ride, I ride along a river the bike path is on a levee allowing you to look down on the river. The path turns from the river and has a timber area on one side and a small park filled with prairie grass on the other side. I continue and get into an industrial are and have a factory on one side of the path and several warehouses on the other, Train tracks go through the middle of this area and my path turns and starts to follow a creek and dips under the train tracks. My ride so far has been pretty flat and I am making good time riding at close to 20 miles an hour, this feels good. I ride through a business section and see a couple of grocery stores, and art gallery, a playhouse, and of course a couple of local bars. On the edge of town I ride along a softball complex and then a little league complex and then another park. I am now heading out of town and have gone 10 miles, the path has been pretty flat so I have been making good time. It is not long after I get out of town my path makes a 90 degree turn and I am looking up my first big hill of the day. The 90 degree turn hurts because I loose a lot of my speed and don't have much time to make it up before I hit my hill. I get going as fast as I can and when I hit the hill I work on maintaining my cadence by keep down shifting as I go up the hill. I hit the top of the hill and get a quick reprieve as I see I have a downhill stretch before going right back up another hill. I get up all the speed I can going down to help me get up the other side. This will be my routine for the next 10 miles. My scenery is starting to change now from the timber areas I experienced on the edge of town to an agricultural scene. I am following along an 4 lane highway on one side of me and on the other are corn and soy bean fields. As I continue my ride I will come across a couple of farm ponds that have are populated with geese that are fun to watch but have a bad habit of walking along the path and doing their duty dirtying up the path for me to ride through. I finally reach the next town, it is a small town of less than a thousand people so not much to see here other than a lot of friendly houses. I have now ridden 20 miles and am half done with my ride. The last ten miles have been rolling hills with each hill a little higher than the last make it an uphill climb. I stop to enjoy some cold water and give my butt a couple of minutes off of that bike seat. I am ready to head back and know that I should make a little better time since now my rolling hill are going downhill. I start the ride back and still enjoy the scenery even though I just saw it all. I look over at the highway and the traffic is starting to pick up as it gets a little later. I am moving along pretty good now, I am able to pick up enough speed going downhill to make it easily up the next hill. I look ahead and can see my last hill and start pedaling faster inspired now to get to the finish. I get to the top of that last hill and then fly down it not even pedaling now because I know that when I hit the bottom I will have to slow down to make my 90 degree turn. As I start going through town the traffic on the bike path is now picking up a lot of the casual riders are now starting to hit the trail. As I get near the little league and softball complexes crowds are starting to gather getting a little practice in and team meetings getting ready for the games that will be starting soon. I get to the business center and things are starting to get busier here also as people are starting their Saturday shopping. The industrial area is still pretty dead as it is a weekend and they are not working today. Finally I get back to my neighborhood and things are picking up here also. Time to start the weekend yard work and other chores around the house. I pull into my drive and it is now 8:30 and I look at the speedometer on my bike and see that I did my 40 miles and averaged 18 miles an hour for my trip. I am happy with that it is a good time and I had a wonderful start to my day.