Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Race Against the Sun

Last night everyone scattered in different directions after dinner so that left me with an opportunity to go for a ride. With the nice weather we’re having I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I left at 6:45 which got me to thinking about how much sunlight I’d have to ride in. I was thinking I probably had until 8:00 so what I was really faced with a race against the sun. How much riding could I get in before it got dark?

As I started out from our house and headed up the first hill I was really regretting doing squats an hour before I left. My legs were instantly burning. Not a smart move on my part. My legs felt so weak at first all I could do was stand and pedal. After a while the burning went away so I was able to sit and grind away.

At the top of the first hill while I was waiting for the light to change I happened to look down at my Garmin and noticed that I had only gone a mile and a half. I thought for sure it was farther than that. Oh well. At the point I headed down Highway 9 to the trail. It was really nice to head down hill for a while. I did notice that about half of the cars had their headlights on. Not a good sign.

When I got to the trail I looked down at my Garmin again and noticed I was still stuck at a mile and a half. DANG! Even though it was registering MPH the cumulative mileage wasn’t calculating. I put two and two together and figured out that somehow the trip end button had been pressed. Once I pressed trip start it started working again. Crisis solved.

It was nice to be riding on the flat trail now for a change but the big question was just how far should I go before I needed to turn around to make it home before it got dark. I decided that I would ride until 7:15 and then turn around. The race was on! Since the trip was short I really put the hammer down on the trail and increased my speed. It was really fun to be flying on the trail. Per my plan I was able to make it all the way to Lake Stevens by 7:15.

When I turned around I snapped the picture below. As you can see the sun was getting pretty low in the sky. I was feeling pretty good that I could make it home before dark though.

As I headed home my legs were getting pretty tired but I had the motivation of the racing against the sun and I was feeling confident I could win. As I exited the trail I noticed that all of the cars now had their headlights on. Oh no, now I really had to pour it on. Every hill that I came to I tried to stand and pedal to increase my speed. As I arrived home I was happy that I had actually made it before it got dark but I was pretty darn tired. It was good to have a reason to push myself and it was fun to race against the sun.

Distance: 15 Miles (estimated since my Garmin had issues)

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