Life is ever evolving for me these days. I’ve gone from being a bit complacent with minimal hobbies to giving lots of things a try. Last week’s adventures…golf lessons and mountain biking. Golf lessons were great, but biking was an absolute blast (now, I was a little sore yesterday, but hey…I had loads of fun!).
I’ve been a huge fan of spin class at the gym for a while now, but recently decided to step it up a bit, get a real bike, and let the wind hit my back as I ride my fresh wheels. I must admit that bike shopping was somewhat overwhelming…things aren’t as easy as they seem in the buying process. You have to figure out if you want regular brakes or disc brakes (ummm…I promise you this is not a car!), full suspension vs. front suspension vs. no suspension, 29″ wheels vs. 26″ wheels, mountain bike vs. hybrid bike vs. road bike…if you haven’t caught on yet, this whole bike shopping thing can be overwhelming and stressful. Luckily for me, I didn’t really need anything all that fancy, and managed to get a good deal on an “almost”new bike, so I didn’t go through too much stress…I decided a little upgrade from bikes of my childhood was sufficient for me.
My friend, Jeff, and I went out for a ride on Saturday on the Northern Central Railroad Trail. We left from Cockeysville, MD and rode almost the entire trail (38 miles), which ends at the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. By the time we finished, we had biked 30 miles in about 3.5 hours (including a few breaks and a little picnic lunch)…crazy, right?!?!?! The first half of the trail seemed to have several slow and steady inclines, but it wasn’t all that bad…a good route for the beginner cyclist. I only almost ran off the trail and over a cliff one time…I’m going to invest in a bell to alert the walkers that I’m coming up behind them. I think that may be a bit safer than trying to swing out around them. I felt pretty amazing for the first 12-15 miles, but when it was time to turn around…that’s when my “Taylor-made” knees started to hurt. My mother’s family tends to have bad knees AND I was crazy enough to bike this distance for my first outdoor ride so I wasn’t all that shocked.
The trail itself was absolutely beautiful…who knew the landscape in Maryland could be so amazing…rushing water, walls of slate, towering trees. There was such peace and tranquility…nature has a way of just calming one’s entire being. No matter what one’s vantage point is, Saturday was an absolutely amazing day!!