Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Thousand-Mile Challenge

It's getting Houston-y out there. About 80 degrees and foggy-misty humid. It feels really beautiful -- reminiscent of a summer day in Michigan, early.. when it's not too warm but it's humid and dewing. Last week I began riding my bike after work, now that we have some light after work. The first day hurt. My knees and butt, it felt like I was falling apart. I felt all awkward and weird on the bike. I went about eight miles. The next day I rode ten miles and felt much better. The third day I went from my house all the way to the Beltway along Terry Hershey Park. That's about 12 miles. But while TH Park isn't boring, it's become a bit routine. So on Sunday Debi and I went on an adventure ride. We rode under I-10 and along the Katy Freeway frontage road, then past ConocoPhillips and along the levee. Then back atop the levee. It's fun to explore these unknown places so close to home. Today (Tuesday) I set off on a ride as it was getting dark. I didn't have a destination, but when I hit TH Park I turned left toward Katy. I rode along the north side of the reservoir, past Subaru and then down Barker Clopine Road. It was quite a surprise, very wooded and lovely alongside the path. A dilapidated bridge crosses over Buffalo Bayou. I turned around at a parking lot that is very close to the shooting range where I was on Friday and Saturday for the COP sporting clays contest. The weather was weird and wonderful, with big threatening clouds and the setting sun poking through moodily. At the turn-around point it was getting quite dark and I flipped on my flashy headlight. On B-C road I passed three snakes! I also saw a deer along the path. Suddenly the trail was deserted (previously I was seeing riders every few minutes) and the rain started. I high-tailed it home.

Too bad my bike is a piece of junk. It's a $500 Schwinn that I bought to replace my stolen Tirreno. It's familiar to me now: I go out on a ride and have a blast, and I want to buy a lovely new bike. Classic geometry, steel road bike... maybe one of Rivendell's new creations. But it's too easy to just go buy one. And there are too many things I want to go and buy. So I thought up the Thousand-Mile Challenge. Rules: ride 1,000 miles and I get to buy a new road bike. The 1,000 miles must be done in 90 days (so just over 11 miles per day average). The Challenge began today. I'm at 15 miles.

No comments: