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First ride of 2010

We have had a colder winter than normal. It has also been wetter than normal. On top of that, it always seems to rain, snow and be freezing cold every single weekend. This weekend, though, the sun is out and the temperatures are in the 60's. This is our first nice weekend since Thanksgiving! (That's the last weekend in November for those of you who are not Americans.) We are all feeling housebound and ready for spring.
If my husband ever gets off an unexpected conference call, we are taking our bikes over to the Silver Comet Trail for our first ride of the year.
Ride or Die!

My 27 mile ride over a mountain, and back

My husband and I signed up for a Labor Day bike ride on the Silver Comet Trail, from Rockmart to Cedartown. Neither of us had ridden that section and our goal has been to ride all of it. This was the last big section to tackle, and since the rest of it had been relatively easy, we felt we could go 27 miles. It was longer than any ride we have done, but we figured, what's 4 more miles! We read the registration form, which said:

27 miles - 9:00 a.m. - Cedartown and Back:  Ride to Cedartown and back on the SCT.  Plan on taking advantage of the rest stops containing plenty of food and drinks.  At the 8.2 mile mark (Grady Road Trail Head) you will begin your ascent of the "Polk County Pyrenees".  No shame in walking your bike up the steep incline and braking down hill.  The return route is generally considered easier than the ride west.  This ride is challenging but doable if you take your time and not allow your pride to dictate your pace.  If there is any doubt about your equipment or level of fitness, opt for the 13 mile ride option.   Return to the park for refueling!

I mean, how hard could it be? Right? We rode for about 8 miles, crossed a road and then there, looming over us, was an incline that was so steep we couldn't see the top. That was a good thing, because once you got to the top, you realized there was another incline. Then another, and then another. The problem was that you had to start the first hill (mountain?) from a dead stop or slow roll due to the road. There was no way to build up any speed or momentum. I made it maybe half way up the first hill and had to get off the bike. The Bike Walk of Shame! Ugh. Because that absolutely wore me out, I didn't have the muscle strength to make it up the other hills and had to stop and walk those. There were some downhills, some quite steep! I didn't think I would make it into Cedartown! What was worse, once I got to Cedartown, I had to turn around and ride back. Oh, the agony! Not to mention the moaning and groaning, the whining and complaining! It was nonstop, and it was all me! My poor husband was such a trooper, which really didn't make it any better because all I could think is "Why am I having so much trouble and he isn't!" There were several times during the crossing of the mountain where I thought I was going to fall down in a puddle of mass muscle fatigue, never to stand again. Fortunately there were several places to stop along the way, and I had enough water with me, not to mention protein bars. The group putting on the ride also had fueling stations with gatorade, water, and lots of snacks from fruit to peanut butter sandwiches to candy, crackers, and nuts. They were greatly appreciated! Once we returned to Rockmart, we were fed a lunch of barbecue sandwiches, hotdogs, slaw, baked beans and chips.

There were several times during the ride that I thought I wasn't going to make it. Once I even saw a buzzard circling overhead. Seriously. I survived, though, and completed the ride. I've never been so grateful for 21 gears. One rider did make a comment about my bike, saying, "You're riding a Townie, though. It's a nice bike, but it really isn't made for this kind of ride." Well! Of all the nerve! No, it isn't made for this kind of ride. It's made for the kind of ride that is fun and enjoyable, not that kind that almost kills you. My Townie and I made it to the end, thank you very much, and if I had to get off and walk, it wasn't the Townie's fault. Besides, have you ever tried to push a Townie up a steep incline? It isn't easy, let me tell you.

That was my day. I got snacks, a lunch, and a t-shirt. I pushed my body and my bike to the very limits. I am exhausted.
I still love my bike.

Check it out....

She rides a Townie!

See story here

Townie Tuesday

Every time anemone58 writes about her awesome Townie Tuesday rides, I wish I could be out there in California with her so that I could ride too. Seems like I wasn't the only one, because several of our members have also decided they want to ride on Townie Tuesday. Now Townie Tuesday has gone Global! onlylisa lives in Australia and she kicked it off for us. We have members across the US and in Canada. If there are other countries represented in our comm, let us know!
Last week I wasn't able to ride on Townie Tuesday. As my friends know, I am now the mother to 3 orphaned kittens, who are just now 2 weeks. I was exhausted from feeding them around the clock. On top of that, the weather was hot, humid and it was a bad air day. My asthma was acting up already, so riding wasn't really an option. I'm sure I could come up with other excuses too.
Today started out like it was going to be another day where everything worked against my being able to get out and ride. The morning was gone before I knew it, then the afternoon brought torrential rains. By dinner, though, the skies had cleared. I was determined I was going out for a ride! Townie Tuesday! Ride or Die!
I rode! It was so wonderful to be out on my bike flying down the hills and then working hard going up them. I rode for 30 minutes, 5.17 miles. Not much, but lots of hills and lots of sweat with the humidity levels topping out at the tropical mark. Every time I get on my bike I remember how much I love it. I wonder why I don't ride more often, why I make excuses or let life get in my way.
Global Townie Tuesday! Next week, I hope everyone joins us. If you rode today, share it with us.

Townie Tuesday!

I took on anemone58 's challenge to join her on Townie Tuesday- anywhere we are. I love it! It wasn't my best ride, my longest or most enjoyable ride but it felt right- like it was Townie Tuesday. My husband and I rode 8 miles to a regional park on some great bike trails and we went late enough that the heat and humidity was subsiding and even felt a cool breeze down the hills.

I could also call this Triathlon Tuesday because in addition to riding my bike, I swam a half mile and walked (no running though) four miles. 

How was YOUR Townie Tuesday? 
I read this in another journal and it was so good that I just HAD to share it here:

I was riding on my little mountain bike to go see my sheep, and a jerk kid in a little car comes up, swerves into the bike lane at me to freak me out and honk, screaming and laughing. i of course veer and stop and scream profanities, but while he's laughing, he forgets to get back on the road and...

Smashes into a mail box.

he slams on his breaks, cars dented, homes owners were HOME, and come out screaming and threatening to sue.

Jul. 26th, 2009

I made a few icons for fun and thought I'd share with everyone. Some are Townies!
Can make personalised ones if you like.
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Apologies if I'm posting too much.  The novelty will wear off I promise!  New bike - good excuse!!

I rode to the next town 2 days in a row.  That's 8 km / 5 miles.
I'm proud because I overcame my traffic fears!
And if I can continue at this pace it's a good non-stop workout each day (hopefully adding a bit more distance to the trip!)

Then made a couple of icons to celebrate my new found love!

Ha!  Don't mind me....I'm a little bit mad!!!
I have too much time on my hands.

So I made an icon. I call it Leaping Townie Girl! (with Townie and dog saying 'wtf???)