When I went in for a doctor's appointment in January and found out that I had packed on fifteen pounds of Christmas fat I decided that I was going to try to step up my riding when the weather finally decided to cooperate. So when the pavement started to show through in March I tried to get out as often as I could, and to make those rides a bit longer than I would have in the past. The result was that I pedaled over 200 miles in March, and then went over 200 miles in April as well.
I have no illusions about riding 200 miles in a month - as far as great bicycle accomplishments it's pretty far down the list. Heck, there are people who ride over 400 miles non-stop in one race, so me riding a measly 200 miles in 30 days isn't that big of a deal.
So when May got going and I kept on riding on a regular basis it was no surprise when the miles started to add up. Early in the month I headed a little bit west to the small town of Garrettsville and made my first trip on the Headwaters Trail.
|Headwaters Trail entering Mantua.|
The town of Mantua, near the other end of the trail, has an interesting, if small, old downtown. I really liked the old grain elevator with the slate shingle sides.
Besides making two end to end trips on Headwaters Trail, and a couple of long rides on the Little Beaver Creek Greenway, I also put in a bunch of miles on the Western Reserve Greenway, my local trail. It may be the straightest and flattest of the rail trails in our area, but there is enough to see if you open your eyes.
|Fox pups near Western Reserve Greenway.|
|Another trail user - this one is even slower than me.|
|Ashtabula County bike trail rest area.|
|Sunset at the wildlife observation deck on Western Reserve Greenway.|
So after three weeks of riding the rail trails (still waiting for the mountain bike trails to firm up enough to ride) I was surprised to see that mapmyride was showing that my monthly mileage was already over 200. With such a strong start I was thinking I could get my highest monthly total yet - and with a bit of a push over the last weekend I managed to bring my May riding total up to 301.5 miles! Once again, in the big picture that isn't much of an accomplishment - but to me it does mean something. I'm not sure I actually lost any weight, but I feel better which is makes it worth it.
The mountain bike trails at West Branch State Park finally opened up over Memorial Day weekend. Word was that they were still a little bit soft, but good enough to ride. Last weekend I had a short window of time and headed out to give them a try. I rode for an hour and a half, and was pleased to see that the trail was in good condition. The local mountain bike club, CAMBA, had also done some great work with new trail reroutes at a couple of areas.
But the thing that made me feel best was the fact that I was riding great. I'm never a fast rider, but keep up a consistent pace that allows my sketchy breathing to keep up with the demands of the trail. But I rode the first half of the ride, at least a couple of miles, without a dab (putting a foot down). The hills were still tough - but maybe not quite as tough as I remember them. And when I was out of time I still felt like I had a good deal of energy left. I'm attributing all of this to all those pavement miles earlier in the spring, building up my legs and my cardio, giving me a small improvement this year over last. And at my age I'll take any improvement that I can get!
In news besides bicycling, Diana and I spent a bit of time together including a quick trip up to Lake Erie at Ashtabula. I always enjoy the lakeside, and it can be a fun trip getting up there.
|Lookout - a selfie!|
|Ken is the sax player near center, above the brunette clarinet player.|
|Possible micro whitewater just outside of Youngstown??!?|