Long live long rides! Unless it’s the first ride of the season

Posted: January 27th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling | No Comments »

A wrong turn heading out of Hygiene towards to Longmont meant that I tacked on another 5-6 miles to my ride. What was to be a gentle introduction into road riding 2016 I instead initiated a slogfest of nearly 50 miles that included the gentle grind that is Rabbit Mountain. I don’t know what I was thinking except that having signed up for the Triple Bypass I was determined not to show up as out of shape as I was at last year’s event.

Relaxing is an important part of any ride

The best part of the ride was stopping in at Mary’s in Hygiene. I always look forward to stopping in grabbing some fresh baked cookies, a coffee and relaxing into one the chairs under the big cottonwood at the side. It’s the type of destination ride I love. This past Saturday, the weather was finer that it had been in months, which meant there were streams of cyclists coming out of Hygiene in a psychedelic blur. It also meant I missed the crush into Mary’s. In retrospect, I should have enjoyed my pastry and headed back home but I had the bit between my teeth, a goal, and a muffin top compelling me forward.

The ride up Rabbit Mtn is not particularly inspiring; it’s primarily prairie land that curves up unremittingly to a trail head with views of scrub land on either side. Glimpses of the peaks are hidden behind the curve of the road, so it feels a little isolating and bleak on a winter’s day. I’ve never actually hiked around Rabbit Mtn; I’ve only ever ridden to the trail head and then back down. On Saturday, I took a break and a quick picture at the trail head and contemplated my return route home.

I was loathed to get on Hwy36, with its racing cars and heavy, loud trucks but I didn’t really want to retrace my steps all the way home. This last decision is what led to the left turn out of Hygiene towards Airport Rd in Longmont. It wasn’t a bad decision entirely, although I ended up on the Diagonal, which is only slightly less of a raging and racing road than Hwy36.

By the time, I rolled in at home, I was cooked. My new shorts let me know that chamois cream would be a feature on our next ride and swinging my leg off the bike was awkward and sore. But I felt good if a little fatigued and only a little bit drunk off endorphins, which can be a slightly addictive feeling. Of course, the work required to get to that point is not.

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