I knew I was pushing my luck going for a ride today. Though it was a balmy 60 degrees with less than 10 MPH winds, it was wet and foggy. Plus the trails were in bad shape. I live near the Illinois Prairie Path, which is mostly limestone screenings, and at this time of year you usually sink instead of glide. However, the legs were aching for a good ride, so I figured I’d give the trails a try, and if they were really bad I’d find some surface streets to ride on.
The trails were surprisingly good, so I started out on the trails. After only about a half a mile, I encountered my first obstacle: trail closure due to bridge out. No matter I thought, I was still in a fairly residential part of the suburbs, and I quickly found a way around the blocked part. I was back on the trail after only a half mile detour.
A few miles later, I encountered my second obstacle: a rough and pitted section of trail. The bike paths around here are often shared by horses. Because of the wet condition of the trails at this time of the year, the horses have the same problem I do. They sink, leaving behind lots of horseshoe sized potholes. My head was going da-da-da-da-da-da.
About a mile later, I encountered a section of trail that was closed for construction. Maddening. At this point, I was about 8 miles into a 12 mile trip. Backtracking is not my style, so I took a quick fork to a nearby road and just started home. This particular road is less well known and out of the way, but it has some hills and is a tempting one for speeders so I was a bit nervous. After another two miles, I finally made it to a subdivision that was nearby to my home.
It should have been an easy ride from there, but it was at that point that I got a flat tire. I opened my kit, and though I had about 20 pounds of odd tools and loose change, my tire repair kit was missing. Oops.
So I called for backup, and spent the rest of the morning tooling around bagel shops and target with wife Jen and daughter Gracie. Not a bad morning after all, and there’s always next weekend for a good ride.