I went for a bike ride the other day on east of town on the Woodmen Expressway. I drove to a church in the middle of farmland with horses, cows, grasshoppers, and whatnot, where I rode a seven-mile loop a few times.
In the old days, this was my ‘speed’ workout. There are gradual hills, but it’s mostly a straightaway service road and portions of it have been turned into a big giant bike lane. So you can put your hands in the drops and crank, which is super awesome if you can put your hands in the drops. I can, but it’s a bit of an effort.
Like Louis C.K. says, bending over like that is like trying to fold a bowling ball.
But I’m not here to talk about my gut.
In the old days, I would have hopped on my bike in my driveway, rode through the neighborhood eventually getting dumped onto the very busy Research Parkway, which I would take for about a mile … no bike lane … and then ride over the unevenly-tarred-over old potholes before entering the right turn lane onto Powers, also known as State Highway 21. It’s the main artery on Colorado Springs’ east side. Cars go 55 mph or faster, but there is a great shoulder and you can ride really fast. I’m only on Powers for a little bit and then I exit.
From there you can ride a series of sidewalks, roads and paved bike paths to get onto the Woodmen Expressway trail.
But today, that’s kind of a hassle.
Today I’m looking for an outdoor ride that’s just a click above riding on a stationary bike.
So I drive to the church. The seven-mile loop is an out-and-back route. When you get to the end of the out, you encounter a cul-de-sac surrounded by farmland. It is a natural turnaround spot.
Today, I stop there and get a drink of water.
In the old days, I’d hop the fence and continue east. I have a hard time remembering exactly how I would do that or how I even knew how or why to do that, but I did it. Barbed wire fence. Hopped. Farm field. Slogged. You come out on the other side and you encounter the little village of Falcon. Ride through there and you come up to Highway 24 … the edge of town. Perhaps civilization. There I’d get on the Rock Island Trail. Kind of boring but you can ride it with no cars for a long way.
You are so far east on the Rock Island Trail that when you look west you can’t see the mountains due to the curvature of the earth.
The trail ends in Peyton, home of the Pop-A-Top Saloon. But Highway 24 continues, eventually taking you through the plains to Limon. If you’ve never been to Limon, here’s what Limon is like. You look west and feel exactly like the ‘Go West, Young Man’ settlers travelling cross country in horse-drawn wagons during the western expansion of America. From Limon, Pikes Peak looks like Mount Everest.
But I don’t do that anymore, it’s dangerous, likely illegal and, most importantly, tiring.
Anyways, I’ve ridden my bike a few times lately and now I’m ready to tackle the Tour de Cure in 16 days.
I am raising money to help the American Diabetes Association and I’d appreciate your support. I was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic 10 years ago this summer.
If you have the means, please give.