Sunday, May 23, 2010

20 miles and 50 mph winds...

My friends and I had decided to ride the Mesabi bike trail from Grand Rapids to Bovey on Saturday.  As the morning progressed I was hoping for a reprieve.  It looked like rain.  And a storm was scheduled to come through as when we would be on our ride.  No such luck in postponing the trip.  I packed rain gear and hoped for the best.  Mainly, that it wouldn't rain.

The ride was beautiful.  The bike path reminded me so much of my childhood where I spent my days riding the local bike paths from one neighborhood to another to the neighborhood gas station and the lake.  Kathy, Teri and I were all newbies to the trail.  It was a little frustrating because you would mentally and physically "push" up a hill only to round a curve and have an even bigger hill to climb.  It's difficult to push harder when you gave everything already.  I am all about pacing myself.  But some of those hills looked insignificant so I would peddle faster and harder thinking I would have flat surface to recover.  With no recovery between hills, I walked that bike up a few of the bigger hills.  No shame in that.

As we entered Coleraine, 8.5 miles into the trip and one mile left to our dining destination, the wind began to pick up.  The last mile of biking the wind got stronger and stronger.  The last few blocks the wind was so strong we couldn't even ride our bikes.  We hid in doorways and between buildings working our way to Annabelle's cafe for lunch.  Gusts of wind reaching 50 mph were blowing sand into our faces and against the bare skin of our legs and arms.  We finally reached Annabelle's and walked indoor only to have the electricty go out.  Half the menu was no longer available for consumption.  That's okay I wanted a salad anyway.

After lunch, we decided to head back to Rapids.  The sky was still gloomy, but not as bad, and the wind had definately died down.  Along the trail, Minnesota Power, was repairing the electrical wires.  It was upon seeing them that I figured there would probably be a big ass tree across the trail at some point.  And there was.  We actually encountered 5 trees that had falled across the trail.  The problem was that you couldn't go all out going down a hill because you never knew what would be around the bend for debris.  So the hills were difficult to climb again.  But I know that next time will be easier.

After our ride, we met at Kathy's house to make dinner and sit in the hot tub.  We made recipes from FR cookbook.  It really was fun drinking wine and making dinner.  The hot tub really helped relax the muscles so I really didn't have pain this morning.

All in all, a great ride, lots of laughs and i can't wait to do it again.

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