Yesterday was the 4th of July, warm, very warm, and sunny. A beautiful day for a bicycle ride, I thought. My husband loves his bicycle, and has logged over a thousand miles this season; I have ridden a handful of times, to breakfast (maybe two miles), with friends (six miles) around town (who knows?). Anyway, I clearly am not in shape for the Tour de Janesville or anywhere else. But I suggested we ride from Verona to Mt. Horeb and back, twelve miles each way. It sounded like something I could do, even though Mr. Bike Man told me the first leg of the trip was all up hill. How hard could it be? It's a railroad conversion, no more than a 2% grade. I could do it.
It was hard. I was soaked with perspiration, winded, with sore legs and a sore sitter. I got off the bike to look at scenery. I got off to get drinks of water. I got off to whine. I got off the bike to take pictures of wildlife (see turtle below). I finally said, "Just go on ahead; I'll catch up," and to his credit Mr. Bike Man refused to abandon me.
We finally made it to Mt. Horeb, a charming Norwegian community along the Military Ridge Trail. Our destination was a brew pub called The Grumpy Troll, a name that by that time could pretty much describe me.
The place was packed, but we were seated and when the waitress saw my red face and dripping hair she sprinted to get me ice water. After about forty-five minutes of cooling down and eating a really really delicious Italian Wrap sandwich, I was ready to face the trip home. Here's the thing. If you ride uphill for twelve miles, the return trip is much easier.
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