a.k.a. How To Successfully Battle The Subconscious' Attempts to Sabotage a Ride
The date: Wednesday, July 4th. The plan: drive my wife to work in downtown Mpls and hit the trails in and around the city of lakes. I attached the hatch rack and loaded my bike. While she got ready, I packed my recumbent seat bag and printed out a map of off-street trails and parkways.
We left around 10 am, I dropped her off, and was getting ready when I noticed that I had grabbed exactly one bike shoe and one work shoe. They were both in the shoe pile, and both look very much the same. Only problem is that one works with my clipless pedals and the other doesn't. Luckily I realized this before unstrapping the bike.
I thought about buying a cheap pair of beartrap pedals for my worn out athletic shoes, then remembered what my feet felt like last time I rode more than 5 miles like that. I drove home. 45 miles. I drove back. 45 miles.
I had originally planned to ride from Minnehaha park along the Mississippi all the way into downtown St. Paul and back, but by now it was pushing 2:30. I rode as far as Ft. Snelling and back, about 11 miles. I did throw in one killer hill climb: about 100+ foot elevation over maybe 1/4 mile, short and steep (Hidden Falls park for those familiar with the area).
My lowest gear is about 59 gear inches. I made it about halfway up before I had to bail out of my clips and rest. Two pedestrians and two cyclists (walking their bikes) passed me while I puffed. After a few minutes, I managed to get started again and clipped in and made it to the top - got cheers from the peds and bikers as I passed them. Another rest at the top and the last few miles were gravy.
While I had planned a moderately paced, long ride, I settled for short and sweet. I was SOOOOO ready to just pack it in and lounge around for the day. Glad I stuck with it.