One of my favorite activities during the week is looking at biking maps and dreaming about riding new trails. After spending the first part of the summer riding from home I wanted to explore further afield. I decided to get rid of my car and buy a small SUV so that I could carry my trike inside. When I carried it on the back of my car I had constant visions of something breaking and my beautiful $4000 trike disintegrating as it bounced down the road. Lack of imagination has never been a problem of mine!
One weekend in August I headed down to Faribault, MN to ride some of the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail. The reviews were that it was a beautiful trail, not well maintained through the middle section, but undeterred I set off for on my adventure. Because I knew it would not be a smooth ride, I decided to shoot for 25 miles out and back rather than attempting to do the whole 78 mile round trip.
It was a peaceful ride, not a lot of riders were out even though the weather was just right for a long ride, sunny and not too hot or humid. By this time I was becoming more comfortable riding through countryside with longer distances between facilities; by this time I was becoming addicted to the solitude, to being able to pedal for miles without anyone calling out, ‘on your left’. It was just me, my thoughts, trees, fields, deer, squirrels, and birds. It doesn’t get much better than that!
I try not to think too much about the downed trees I often see along the way. I go with the assumption that trees always fall at night or make so much noise that a cyclist would have plenty of time to escape, unlike the walker in Minneapolis who was killed a couple years ago when a tree fell on her.
I can feel that anticipation of new rides ahead starting to build. It is already February. Last year I started riding in March and did not miss a single weekend riding, except for vacation, all the way up until December. Who knows what this year will bring?