I’ve biked indoors on rollers when that was all we had, back in the 1970’s. Since then turbo trainers came out. I haven’t used mine for at least a decade. I don’t want any part of riding indoors. The sweat dripping off one’s body rusts the painted surfaces of a bike frame, and collects on the floor. When I rode indoors, I was in the habit of draping absorbent towels over the surfaces of the bike that caught the stream of sweat running down my chin and brows. It’s also boring to bike indoors. That’s why people watch TV, read, or watch their computer screens while they crank the pedals round and round.
Yesterday, I took an actual 10 mile ride in the middle of a rainy day, when there was a 1 hour break in the precipitation. Normally every ride I take from my house is a loop. We get locked into old patterns.
I live on High Street on the edge of Lincolnville, bordering the town of Hope, Maine., where there are some very large parcels of land held by relatively few folks . The last mile or so of the road toward Hope doesn’t have any telephone poles nor overhead (or underground) wires. There stands one old farmhouse smack dab in the middle of 1,100 acres around Moody Pond. Without any need to trim foliar entanglements, oak and maple limbs reach from both sides of the street to entwine, creating a tunnel effect that is most spectacular in autumn, when the landscape lights up with spectacular waxy hues of red, orange, and yellow.
People enjoy walking High Street. This year, increasing numbers of people parked at either end of my street to walk for the joy of it. It’s not busy, except for late afternoon. Most of the time, walkers never encounter us residents. It is also one of the few stretches around where you are not going up or down some 400 plus feet in elevation on a bike ride or walk.
These last two days, I took a short one-hour spin on High Street. I didn’t travel more than 1.3 miles in any direction from my house, and felt guilty at how much fun I had riding a double route on this recently resurfaced asphalt road.
It took me 32 years of riding right here to take this most simple ride: out the door to the street, then ride right to Levensellar Pond for 1 mile, then head backpast the house in the opposite direction to Moody Pond, where I turned around and headed back 1.3 miles to my house, where I repeated the exact same route, snagging 10 miles in just under an hour.
Moving over the landscape on foot or two wheels is my daily practice. There is bigger purpose in my 10 mile triumphs. I’m needing just 48 more miles to reach my goal for 2016- one thousand miles on the bike. I met two other 2016 goals already: 1,000 miles of walking/backpacking and reading 25 book, one every two weeks.