Fifteen point four

I got my ass kicked today. Late last night, just before going to bed, I decided that today I was going to ride my bike to Kenilworth and back on the dirt roads that run between here and there. I never really knew how far the round trip was before today, but I brought my GPS along and gathered some stats. I was gone for a total of 3 hours and 24 minutes, of which I spent 47 minutes stopped for one reason or another. During the 2 hours and 37 minutes that I was moving, I averaged 5.8 mph, with a maximum speed of 22.4 mph. I took the east road from my house in Price to my grandpa’s house in Kenilworth, which turned out to be 8.7 miles, and the west road home turned out being 6.7 miles long, for 15.4 miles total. The total elevation gain was 1,250 feet (technically, it was zero, but you know what I mean).
I must have seen no fewer than 200 Busch Light cans along the road (damn rednecks), mostly on the road up (which is easily passable by any vehicle). The road down is really rough and rocky, so it gets almost no travel except by bikes–there weren’t even many ATV tracks on that road. About an hour into the ride, I came across a guy who was walking with his dog in the same direction as I was going. I got fairly close to him and I expected him to have heard me coming up behind him, but he apparently didn’t, so I turned my bike a bit from the hard-packed dirt to the gravelly shoulder just so my tires would make more noise. When he heard that, he turned rather quickly and half-way raised his walking stick. I’m glad I wasn’t closer to him–I startled him pretty good. I just said hi to him and we asked each other “How’s it goin’?” before I passed him up. I’d forgotten I’d tucked my shirt behind my handgun so it was perfectly visible, so I wasn’t looking for a reaction, but I wonder what he thought when I went by. I also saw a deer, almost close enough to spit on–I think we startled each other. It was the only wildlife I saw the entire trip, except for butterflies and lizards.
My ass hurts now, since this was my first real bike ride of the season–I’ll get used to riding again pretty quickly. I also got sunburned pretty badly on my arms and face, and on top of that pain, my legs are sore and weak. I think I’m going to try to take a long bike ride like this, close to town, once a week, at least until I start hiking county high points again. Those will all require hours of driving before I can even begin hiking, so it’ll have to wait until I can devote an entire day to a single hike during the weekends.

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