Monday, May 12, 2008

Riding, Hiking, Bicycling

I rode my Night Train for the first time last week, on Tuesday to the Road Captains meeting and to work Friday. Upshifting was strange and uncomfortable at first, and even after a while it didn't come naturally. The worst was from first to second gear, on Tuesday in my sneakers it was more uncomfortable than subsequent upshifts, and on Friday in my boots I kept hitting neutral. Still, it was nice to be back riding her.
Saturday I went on my first HOG chapter ride since breaking my ankle, and I was the lead Road Captain no less. The turnout wasn't as good as I would have hoped, and until 10 minutes before the ride it looked like it was only going to be me, Andy, the sweep RC, and his son. There only wound up being five bikes, but three of them were riding two-up, including Andy, for a total of eight people. I don't know if it was the weather- overcast with a forecast high of 96 (but no rain), or people weren't interested in hiking (I was the only one who actually hiked, but the ride was billed as "Go take a hike"). When we got to Buescher State Park, there wasn't anybody outside collecting entrance fees, so we had to wait in line inside the ranger station to pay. The ride through the park to Bastrop SP was nice, and then we stopped at Bastrop's entrance, everyone else went on to lunch, I bought a Dr Pepper and rode to a trailhead parking lot. The parking lot was large gravel, so I was very wary. I sat at a picnic table and ate one of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I had brought with me in my backpack. The trail started out pretty steep downhill, which was unnerving, but other than a little discomfort of stretching my tendons, there were no problems. The first bit was the steepest, and it was a well maintained trail, so not many big obstacles or major risks to my ankle. I was alone for a while, but eventually ran into a couple families, but fortunately wasn't around them for long. About halfway on my roughly 2 mile hike I stopped at a bench and had another PBJ while reading the newspaper I'd brought with me. It wasn't really hot, but it was quite humid and I was wearing jeans. It was cool enough that stopping for a little while cooled me down. When I got back to the parking area, I sat down and read the paper some more to cool off before riding home.
Sunday morning I rode my bicycle to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Earlier, when thinking about plans for the weekend, I had separate thoughts of riding my bicycle and of going to see Iron Man. Eventually I hit on the idea of riding my bicycle to the theater. I had ridden the route previously, so I knew what I was in for and that it shouldn't be much of a challenge, knowing that I had managed 7 miles the previous weekend. I had a tough time starting out, my legs were stiff from hiking the day before and took a while to warm up. I walked up the first hill, but did better the rest of the way. I got to the theater early- I'd allowed more time than I needed even though it took me longer than I thought it would. It was only 10:20 for an 11 o'clock show, but the theater was open so I went and got my seat. The ride was enough for me to ignore the clock and have an early lunch. I enjoyed the movie, much better than some other comic-book movies I've seen, but probably not the best. Since I didn't have any other plans for the day, I rode toward downtown. I went into a couple of bicycle shops, considering getting a more road capable bike. I rode some of the hike-and-bike trail, then went to Uncle Billy's to sit, read the paper, and drink a couple of beers. My legs started cramping up a bit sitting there. At about 4 I started back towards home, stopping for dinner at Home Slice. My legs were shot and my butt was sore when I got home. I called my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day, but that was about the only thing I did other than lay on the couch and watch TV.

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