Sunday, March 22, 2009

The First Bike Ride of the Season

So today was my first major bicycle ride of the season. I always say bicycle because I don’t want anyone thinking I ride a motorcycle. I suppose I understand why people like motorcycles, but in my life I have seen 2 people killed in motorcycle crashes and hence I just can’t get into motorcycles. Yeah – I know people can get killed riding bicycles, but bicycle riding just seems less dangerous to me. Anyway, I digress as writing about motorcycles is certainly not the purpose of today’s post. I had all the great intentions in the world of getting up at 6:30AM and hitting the road then. It just didn’t happen. I am still taking antibiotics every 6 hours and because of when I took them last night (around 2AM) I didn’t end up getting out of bed until 8AM. So after I finally got up, I scurried around getting all my biking gear together. I had most it already pulled together but I couldn’t find my biking gloves. I looked for about 20 minutes before finally giving up. Nancy was making some breakfast for Zack this morning so I didn’t have to worry about that. Every other weekend or so, Nancy will make something special for Zack. This morning it was cinnamon rolls. So while he was eating I was gearing up and getting ready to go. I had Zack take a send off picture of me for my first official ride of the year.

(Heading out for the bike trail.)

I left the house around 9:20 or so. I headed out to the C470 bike trail and picked it up right near our local bookstore – the Park Meadows B&N. From there I headed west following C470. Whoever had the idea to build the C470 bike trail when they built that highway was a genius. I just wish they had kept it up when the built the E470 loop on the eastern side of Denver. Oh well. The C470 trail very closely follows the highway until shortly past the Broadway exit. At this point, it joins up with the Highline Canal trail for about 4 miles. the trail winds through a large wooded area that is very pretty and quiet. Unfortunately in the last year much of this wooded area around Lucent Blvd has started to be developed. The new Ralph Schomp car dealership is now located in this area. The trail rejoins the highway about ½ mile to the east of Sante Fe Boulevard. The crossing at Sante Fe is probably one of the worst on the entire trail. You have to cross a 6 lane highway. Yes – there is a pedestrian crossing light there but it still sucks. From there you head into Chatfield State Park. My ride then departed from the C470 trail and switched over to the South Platte Greenway trail. This trail runs from Chatfield the whole way into downtown Denver. It keeps going through Denver and heads north while continuing to follow the South Platte. The trail eventually ends somewhere near 120th Ave way north of Denver. I have never ridden the trail that far. I have only ever gone as far as the where the trail crosses I-70. My ride on the South Platte trail was uneventful but fast. The trail is relatively level and I can build up a huge amount of speed. At one section of the trail near Mineral Avenue I always gear down into one of my highest gears and just let my legs crank. Today I managed to get my bike up to almost 23 miles per hour – which for the first ride of the season was pretty good. The trail is in relatively good shape for this time of the year. However, as the snow starts to melt in the mountains the South Platte normal flows much stronger and fuller. By later in April and May there will be sections of the trail that are flooded. I didn’t even stop to relax once I reached Confluence Park. I just rode on and got to Union Station as quickly as I could. Luckily I had timed it just right and shortly after I arrived I managed to catch a light rail train home. The ride from Union Station to home costs $3.50 and normal takes about 40 minutes or so. I load my bike up onto the train and normally stand at the back of the car for the trip home. Today’s ride was a very liberating experience for me. It was the first time I had been on my bike for a really long ride since Patty died. I had just completed the Bicycle Tour Colorado last year before she got really sick. As a result, I just never managed to get back on my bike last year before the weather turned. It was just such a wonderful feeling being out in the wind and enjoying the feeling of riding hard. So here are the numbers on today’s ride: Total miles: 27.91 miles Total time: 2:01 Calories Expended: 1305 Average Speed: 13.5 mph Average Heart Rate: 138 bpm I always get off the light rail at the Dry Creek Station and then I have another 1.5 miles to ride home. That ride is always a little tough as my muscles stiffen up after the time on the train. When I arrived home I was starving as I hadn’t eaten all day. So I stuffed myself with some food and then got a shower. Zack had a great time while I was gone as he was outside with some of the girls on the street. He had spent pretty much the entire time outside playing and jumping on the trampoline. Once I was done with my shower, I told Zack that he needed to do his reading for the day. While he did that I sat down on the couch and then promptly feel asleep for an hour and a half. It felt good, but it sure wasted my afternoon! After I woke up, I began addressing the dinner situation. Zack has wanted to use his “Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals for Kids” cookbook and so we decided today was the day. He spent awhile looking through the recipes until he decided upon a watermelon soda for starters, quesadilla pizzas for the main course and cookie and ice cream fill-your-handwiches for desert. To allow us to make this for dinner we had to head to the store. We went to Safeway first but with the remodeling taking place there we couldn’t find a couple of things so we were off to King Soopers next. We eventually found everything that we needed and headed home to allow Chef Zack begin his creations. Of course he needed a little bit of help, but he did do a lot of the work himself. He was proud of his creations and to be honest they tasted pretty good.

(Chef Zack working on our watermelon soda.)

(Bobbie Flay - you better watch out. Zackie Kromer is going to be the next big thing chef!)

Though Nancy wasn’t interested in eating what we had she sat at the table with us while we ate. Of course we had some excellent Mozart music playing in the background by which to enjoy our dinner and dessert. We are now winding down for the day. I am just finishing writing this at 8:45PM but I won’t get it posted for a few yet as I have to upload the pictures from the day. (If I didn’t add pictures to this blog almost every day it would take so much less time. Oh well – the pictures make it interesting in my mind.) We really hope everyone had a great weekend and is looking forward to a good week. Thanks and peace to all!


Anonymous said...

You are SO RIGHT, Jerry! It would not be the same without the photos! Thanks for taking the time to choose, edit and upload them!
Robin, Texas

Anonymous said...

Hi Jerry -
The bicycle ride sounds so exhilarating. And, I actually think I know enough about Colorado to have a sense of your where your jaunt took you. Be careful, heard about Lance and the collar bone, no? I think it's so cool that Zack likes to cook! Perhaps he can be Miss Mary Ellen's executive chef some day?! Talk to you soon! ME