Sometimes You Just Have to Suck it Up!

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No water, much less cold water at this stop on the Brown’s Creek Trail!

On a hot summer day, it is mentally difficult to ride past this station! I always have water, but not usually cold water. Once I see this sign, my mind fixates on cold water, but there is no place close by where a cold drink can be obtained. It is not easy to get the mind to focus on something other than cold water after passing this sign. I hope all that construction in the background, however, means there will be cold water in the future!

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It was a cool summer day with pouring rain but I rode 25 miles in it anyway, as part of a 50 mile ride. This was my first intentional ride in the rain, previously I always avoided rain and raced for home if caught out in it. As the rain poured down and I got chilled, all I could think about was turning the heat up full blast in my SUV once I got back to it! Eventually the rain stopped, however, and I went back to enjoying the ride.  When I did get back to my vehicle I kept on riding for a few more miles. I did not need the heat after all, but at least the thought of it helped me get through those miserable miles.

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Paul Bunyan Trail

This was a beautiful section of trail, but man did it have the hills, for Minnesota anyway. This part of the trail wasn’t that long, maybe 6 miles, but it seemed to go on and on. I would climb a hill certain that when I got to the top I would see the end of this section, but instead there was just more trail.  I’d climb another hill again feeling certain this would be the end, but no, not this time either. After awhile I started singing a variation of the theme from Lamb Chop, “This is the trail that never ends. It just goes on and on my friend.” I did not see another person on this stretch of trail although I did come across a few shady looking characters in an isolated parking area down below.  I ducked down low on my trike and was glad I did not have a flag on my trike that day! It was a great trail to conquer, even if it did seem really long, and I was pleased to have done so.

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Hutchinson, MN

I didn’t realize that after another mile or so during this 60 mile ride I would not see any interesting, much less beautiful scenery for quite a few miles. I had determined I wanted to ride round trip from Winsted to Cedar Mills and doggone I was going to ride that trail! West of Hutchinson the trail was crushed granite, there were no facilities to be found, and the trail ran along the side of a highway. It was hot that day and that part of the trail was just me and lots of grasshoppers! I thought when I got to Cedar Mills I would find a convenience store and get a cold drink, but I didn’t see anything. I ground it out, keeping those legs moving, back to Hutchinson and stopped at the first convenience store I found!  One Gatorade, and one iced coffee later I was good to go on my way back to Winsted. Although I am certain I will ride to Hutchinson again, I have no intention of ever riding that granite section of the trail ever again.  But who knows?  There may come a day when I want to test myself again. There is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment when you know you did something that was not easy.

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Heading out for a ride before I switched to a SUV.

I do not currently have any pictures of my worst ride of the whole year and I won’t say the trail because maybe on a different day I would have enjoyed that trail. For me, at least on that day, it was the worst trail possible! The trail was not that well maintained, lots of holes, lot of tall weeds for a low trike. It was such a hot day, temps in the high 90’s, and there were no facilities right on the trail and not many visible from the trail. What the trail did have in abundance were deer flies!  I spent many miles swinging my left arm to keep those things off of me and out of my face!  It was really bad. I felt like I had plenty of liquid with me for such a hot day so that I stayed hydrated, but I was covered in salt and all I could think of was water. It was a tough 32 mile ride, grinding along on that unpaved trail. Afterward I was standing at the counter of a convenience store with an arm load of drinks when I started to feel dizzy. Not long after I hit the deck.  I don’t know if I passed out or if it was just another balance thing?  Either way, it was a rotten finish to a horrible ride!  I’m thinking about riding that trail again though, just not on such a hot day and maybe earlier in the year to avoid the deer flies!  I think it would be fun to tackle with the Fat Tad and besides, I don’t like being defeated!

 

 

 

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