A Good Ride

What makes a good ride?  I am sure that everyone has different criteria.  On different days I am sure that my criteria changes.

Today’s ride was a good ride.  It was not long—about 21 miles in town on the Cedar River Trail and the section of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail that is not closed for paving—but the weather was absolutely pitch perfect for an escape—a little over 70 degrees, a bright sun, and no appreciable wind to speak of.

A few other things made it even better:

  1. My fitness level is improving because I cut almost eight minutes off the usual time for this ride without even trying to push the pace and I was not winded at any time.  Since I have gotten off the depression treadmill that is weighing myself I have looked for other measures of fitness and health.  It was nice to be surprised.
  2. The benefits of cross training are real.  In the late 1980s it was all the rage for people to be cross training and the idea has come back with the emergence of CrossFit.  Whatever your opinion of those fads is the reality is that breaking up the monotony works.  My ankle has been killing me lately and all of my workouts have been in the dungeon of doom known as my basement where the treadmill and Concept2 rowing machine lurk.  It’s been a little over a week since I could find the time to workout at a time other than late at night or early in the morning.  I was starting to get worried that something was wrong with my ankle.  A day of rest and a day on the bicycle cleared up almost all of the pain.  Solid.
  3. People out being active.  It was lunchtime in the middle of the week, so people are preoccupied with jobs or errands or whatever.  However, lots of people were out walking, running, or on bikes.  It was just good to see people getting out and enjoying one of those perfect Iowa summer days.

The ride today did come with a downside, if you want to call it that.  I realized that I may be in the market for a new steed.  My sixteen year old Bontrager mountain bike turned trail mutant is not the best vehicle for my daily riding anymore.  I am thinking of a cyclocross bike…


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