Notes from the trail

Riding the Katy …

… pedaling along the Missouri River, reading the plaques about the Corps of Discovery (Lewis & Clark) Expedition, looking at the markers that delineate the high water mark of various floods, realizing how powerful the river is …

… the plaques about Lewis & Clark reminding me of “Undaunted Courage,” one of my favorite books, leading to a book discussion with my brother as we rode …

… thinking how cute it was that people referred to Jefferson City as Jeff City … loving the ramp from the trail to bridge—best uphill and downhill ever … wish I’d gotten a photo of people coming down the ramp in slow spirals …

… watching the riders stream out of the Jeff City campground parking lot on the way to breakfast and realizing how dangerous it would be to get between cyclists and food!

… climbing to Eagle Bluff Overlook, from which there was a fantastic view of the fields and turkey vultures soaring on the wind … if they were looking for a carcass, we could have told them where one was since we smelled it from the path …

… seeing indigo buntings and cardinals so brilliantly red, they looked newly painted … I missed seeing the deer and bluebirds my companions saw, though …

… SAG stops and the wonderful volunteers, the thrill of bananas AND peanut butter, the fantastic granola we got when we signed up for a mileage challenge at one of the stops, cold water and energy drink powder …

… chatting with fellow riders at the SAG stops and laughing that with an average age of 52, you’d think some of us would be old enough to know better than to do this! … finding conversations funnier than perhaps they were, either because of oxygen saturation or deprivation …

… trying to avoid riding in the heat of the afternoon by getting up at 4:30 to strike camp and be at breakfast promptly when it started at 6:00 …

… getting into the shower with bike clothes on because it was easier to peel them off that way … realizing after getting out of the shower that only one layer of dirt had been removed – combo of sweat, sunscreen and dust will do that …

… thinking it was too hot to sleep and dropping off within a few minutes …

… finding at least one geocache a day …  earth caches that made us look more closely at the Standing Rock and the rock tunnel … dropping a trackable every day, each with a bicycle charm attached to it … meeting another geocacher at the Pilot Grove SAG stop and looking for a nearby cache together …

… wondering why people who are obviously serious bikers can’t master the ‘on your left’ warning when overtaking …

… missing the suppers cooked by church groups, but enjoying the two catered dinners, especially the German chocolate cake with mini chocolate chips sprinkled into the icing … the Pancake Man’s waffles and pancakes getting us off to a good start …

… a masseuse being in camp the last two nights – what a relief to tense and aching muscles …

… being so totally in the world of the trail that I didn’t look at the news all week, leading to this conversation with my brother:  me: “is there anything going on in the ‘other’ world?” my brother: “as long as bananas keep getting delivered to the SAG stops, who cares?!”

… the magnificent bluffs, the rolling prairie, wildflowers galore in beautiful colors …

… and yes, it does always rain in Sedalia!

Collage 3

 

The wheels on the bike go ’round and ’round

2013_08_24_Providence_iP_0029

The training for the Katy Trail Ride has started! We have about four months to prepare for riding 240 miles over five days.

Now that we’ve started, I’m rediscovering the difference between exercise and training. Several years ago, I trained for the first time, for a sprint triathlon. Although I exercised regularly, it wasn’t the same as training and  I can still remember the day I realized the difference. I woke up on a Sunday morning, the day I did my long ride of the week, and it was hot and humid, plus I had cramps. If I had been planning on riding my bike that day just for exercise, I would have blown it off. Because I had a training plan and the goal of completing the sprint triathlon, I got myself out of bed and on the bike.

That’s what I’m doing now. Most summers, I ride my bike when I feel like it. Sure, I like getting the exercise, but if I want to blow off a ride, I can. Not so when I’m training – gotta put the miles in, whether I like it or not.

On the other hand, I love how I feel when I put my mind to doing something with my body that’s a challenge. I might be one of the least athletic people on the planet, but training makes me feel just a bit like an athlete and I love that.

So, the wheels will go ‘round and ‘round many times over the coming months.