After Jethro's recent thread about "gung-ho vs flower-smeller" rides, I decided to make a concerted effort to restrain myself in this morning and be as casual as I could. I even stopped to take a few pictures. All in all it was a very nice, peaceful 34.6 mile ride, with hardly any car traffic, and only a 10 mph wind. And since I was taking in the scenery, I won't even get into any average speed discussions.
The ride started with about 8 or 9 miles on the Monon Trail (which Jethro is fond of calling the Moron Trail) before heading east across US 31. Here's the 96th St trailhead on the Monon, about a half mile from my house:
A mile and a half up the trail is the Monon Center, a community fitness and meeting facility, with indoor and outdoor pools, exercise equipment, sports courts and small skateboard park. The trail goes under a connecting walkway linking the exercise side (left in photo) and the meeting room side (right):
Coming up on the Carmel Drive overpass, about the only thing that passes for a hill on the trail:
Carmel's new Performing Arts Center, with its green space where the Carmel Farmer's Market takes place on Saturday mornings through the summer:
Crossing Main St in Carmel. The yellow-sided building with the green awning just to the left of the trail is Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream, made famous by the TV show "Man Vs Food."
After leaving the trail and crossing US 31, I came into the little town of Westfield from the south. This is one of my favorite things about riding out in the countryside - rolling into little burgs like this:
The rest of the ride was out in the country. Most of it was not particularly picturesque until the return leg, where the scenery improved a little bit:
And then finally back into suburbia as I approached home:
In the end, it was a very pleasant way to work up an appetite for breakfast. Very enjoyable.