I drove to Buckner Park this morning, put my bike together, and rode 23 miles. I drive to Buckner Park occasionally and ride from there because Bass Road is heavily traveled by car and truck drivers and it has no shoulder to use in case I’m in danger of being kissed by a passing vehicle. Hadley Road is closed between Bass and Illinois Rd, so there is more traffic on Bass than normal.
It was a great morning to ride a bicycle. I actually got started a little later than I had planned because I slept later this morning than usual on a Saturday morning. I shorted myself on sleep over the past week, even more so than I normally do, so I decided to catch up a bit.
I wondered how a longer ride would affect me, since I haven’t done one in a month. Biking to work diminishes my desire to hit the road after work. Weekends have been busy lately and haven’t afforded me much time for a marathon bike ride. Not only that, but when the temps are in the 90s and the humidity is high I’d rather read a book and just daydream about biking.
Nothing unusual occurred during my 23 miler, except that I passed a guy riding a road bike and wearing a fancy yellow jersey on Arcola Road east of County Line Road. I spotted him crossing the tracks west of Arcola. I was peddling at a pretty good clip anyway, but seeing him up ahead got my adrenalin flowing and the challenge was on. I’m sure he saw me coming up behind him because he was wearing a mirror clipped to his glasses, like I do. He made no effort to speed up, though, and I greeted him with a “Good morning” as I passed him. He reciprocated. I checked him out as I went by and he appeared to be in his 40s, maybe 50. Not that it makes much difference, but respectable bicyclists worth their salt are observant of how they stack up against others on the road. I wasn’t out for a leisurely jaunt to sniff flowers and count butterflies. I wanted as much of the road as I could get in the time I was out. The other biker might have been out on a 100 mile ride, so his slower speed would be understandable.
I was not only out for a fast ride, however. I did notice some things along the way even though I didn’t stop to smell the roses.
I noticed one cornfield had been harvested and many others were nearing the harvest stage. The last time I took that route, corn stood tall and green and was still actively growing. Soybeans are looking good and are still lush and green. Our hot humid weather has accelerated the maturing of most crops and an early harvest for nearly everything is expected. Soon the air will be filled with dirt dust and sundry other particulates from the reaping of the crops. If this hot dry weather continues, the full blown harvest will cause many sinus headaches and some asthma attacks.
My ride today took 1 hour and 28 minutes. My average time per mile was 3 minutes 49 seconds. My average speed was 15.6 miles per hour. If anyone finds fault with my math, comment below. If I had been running at that speed instead of biking, you’d see me in the Guinness Book of World Records. The record men’s marathon time of 2 hours 3 minutes 59 seconds is held by Haile Gebrselassie. Haile ran the fastest marathon on record, completing the 26 miles, 385 yards in 2 hours 3 minutes 59 seconds. His average speed was 12.7 miles per hour. I would have beaten him this morning.
I’m feelin’ good.