Saturday Duathlon

Saturday morning ended up a spur of the moment duathlon.  Pam and I ran about 6.7 miles then made our usual stop at Panera for breakfast.  While we were eating, I kept thinking about what a beautiful day it was, then I put two and two together and realized I had an almost two hour window of unscheduled time while Pam went to the hairdresser if I hurried.  It didn’t take long to decide I was going to ride while I could.

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We had rain overnight so the roads were really sloppy.  I debated riding the Surly with it’s fenders, but finally decided that getting the Madone all dirty and crudded up would give me incentive to finally clean it up.  It worked!  The bike is spotless now!

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I managed to get away by just a few minutes after 8:00 AM.  As usual, I paused on my way out Sunshine to admire the yearling Clydesdales.  Most of them didn’t want to pose for me, but this little guy did.  I really get a kick out of watching each year’s batch of colt’s being born and growing up.

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As I crossed the river, I realized that in spite of the little bit of rain we’ve been getting around here, the Ozarks are still in the middle of a drought.  There should be a lot more water in the James River this time of year.  This is more typical of August than December.  I’m a little worried about what next summer is going to bring.

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My legs were pretty shot from running and the hard effort I put in at lunch on Friday, so I wasn’t in much of a mood to go very fast.  I don’t think I could have if I tried, and I was having so much fun admiring the early morning light on the glistening roads that it didn’t matter.

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I was just happy to be on my bike, pedaling as smoothly and efficiently as the strong south wind would allow.   My relatively early start ensured I would be done before the wind got really bad later on, but it was still a challenge to make a lot of progress into the wind and when I turned into the crosswind it kicked my bike around a bit.

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Because of my time limitation, I just rode my standard High School loop.  I realized it was quite possibly the last time I would get to ride it this year, depending on what the weather does the latter half of the month.  With the holidays and unpredictability of our December weather, I consider every ride between now and the end of the year to be a gift, so I was very appreciative of this one.

As I looped past the school and turned for home, I relished the chance to have that wind at my back, but I didn’t have enough “oomph” left in  my legs to take advantage of it.  Instead, I just lazily pedaled along enjoying the brightness of the sparkling sunshine around me.

I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s something therapeutic about riding alone.  I enjoy riding with others, but there are just some days like Saturday that seem meant for solitary rides.  Just me, the bike, and the road make my life happy and fulfilled.

All too soon I was pulling back into the neighborhood.  I ended with 23 miles behind me and a less than impressive average speed of 15.8 mph, but realized that I couldn’t measure the smiles and enjoyment I had gotten from the effort.

Here’s a link to the GPS track on Garmin and Strava.

God bless…

TW

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2 Comments on “Saturday Duathlon”

  1. Pondero Says:

    That’s quite a morning. Counting the excellent photos, I posit you completed a triathlon.

  2. welshcyclist Says:

    I’ve always ridden alone, and I prefer it that way, but compared to you I’m a real slowcoach.


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