(Alas, I was dog sitting without a connection again, so this post was written on Saturday, Aug, 17.)
“Cycling is a sport of the open road…” – Lance Armstrong
I had another 23 mile ride today, which was great after not doing any riding this week. I did try to ride Wednesday, but the greenway was closed a mile and a half in due to some road work repairs on a bridge. I took today’s ride in the afternoon around 3pm. It was a bit hot, but the greenway is nicely shaded and the breeze from riding felt great. Even better, being so late in the day, the path wasn’t crowded with anyone else, so I was able to pick up my speed by 3 mph. I’m happy with that. Perhaps the next ride I take on a Saturday will be in the afternoon for the better conditions.
Despite the lack of a crowd on the greenway today, I’m still wondering about getting onto actual paved roadways. Everyone tells me not to go on the roads due to the dangerous nature of drivers, but there are so many other advantages. I need some good hills to take on a regular basis that will make me really work to get up them in order to strengthen my legs better. I also want the freedom to go as fast as I want without having to worry so much about stopping because someone is walking and blocking my path. I would also like to have the option of getting in more miles without going back and forth on the same pathway. It’s getting a bit boring doing that. I would also like to be able to leave my house on my bike and not have to go through the hassle of putting my bike in my car.
I keep looking at Google maps to get an idea of some of the back roads near my house and wondering if they would be good ones. I have seen various cyclists on some of the roads near me, and I’m itching to join them. The roads aren’t highways, although they can be busy. One I really would like to do is nothing but 7 miles of hills, some steep and others long and winding. That would be a great ride to build strength and endurance.
Even though I have this desire to go out on the open roads, I’m lacking a bit of confidence in my riding skills. Today I did two such wonderful starts on my bike, as in, threw my leg over to touch the pedals and rolled straight into the window of Starbucks and the second one was right into the back of my car. Yeah, I’m just full of grace. So stopping and going at red lights is a concern of mine to say the least. I’m also not sure of all rules of the road, such as left turns etc. And lastly, although not as important, will I look like a total poseur if I’m riding the road with a mountain bike? I saw one guy doing it this evening and he looked cool. But I’m not sure if I can pull it off. Well, I did say I have my eye on a cute little blue road bike in my sights….
I’ve been pondering over these things for a while. I think I’ll hold off on the road for a little bit. I’ll work on my confidence as well as my current strength and endurance, picking up speed and better timing while on my greenway rides. Maybe I will hold out until I get a road bike. Still, I’m not sure.