Tuesday, March 2, 2010


For the last month, Leslie has been telling me I have to try to ride up to Skyline. She even sent me a map about a month ago detailing the route along with directions. I don't have the greatest sense of direction, so I've been dragging my feet about it. Today, I was feeling adventurous though so I set off across the river, through the Pearl and up Lovejoy to Cornell. About 4 miles in is where the climb began. It's not too steep but there are only a couple of places where you get a break.

As I pass the Audobon society I remember that we used to drive over here to go hiking in Forest Park. Leslie had warned me of a choke point where there is a tunnel that has a bike path on the right side as you go up the hill. Going around this tunnel I felt reassured that I was going the right way until, "Wait, what's that?" Another tunnel. I really didn't remember her saying there were two tunnels, but I went around this one too and kept riding on Cornell. About 7 miles away from home I'm sure I missed a turn and I'm about to give up when I see up ahead a street sign. It's Thompson. Yes!

Thompson is pretty quiet and not too steep, but at this point I've been climbing for a few miles so my heartrate is up and I'm breathing hard. It feels like I'm riding through a forest there are so many trees and I can hear a stream somewhere over to the left. I'm really enjoying myself and taking it pretty easy since I don't know how long it is going to last. At almost 9 miles I see a stop sign up ahead and I switch to a harder gear to finish the climb. Skyline! I made it to Skyline!

I decide to ride on Skyline for a little while until I see the cemetary that Peter and I took his dad's telescope to a few years ago when Mars was so close. It's here that I decide to stop to eat my half sandwich. I gently lay Amie down on the grass and sit down on a white marker with the word DEVOTION painted on it. There's really no view so I don't feel bad about forgetting my camera AGAIN.

I do a few stretches and then hop on the bike. It's raining quite a bit now and I'm worried about getting chilled going down that long hill. Before I know it, I'm screaming down the hill at 35 mph. I decide to just ride through the tunnels as I'm not going much slower than the cars and I've got my back blinker on. Some idiot passes me in the tunnel anyway. I hope those 3 seconds he saved will make a difference when he gets where he is going.

By the time I'm through the Pearl and on the Esplanade I'm quite cold and grateful to turn away from the river and climb home. I ride hard and notice that my back is feeling great as I pull in to the driveway. This and that fact that I just did a pretty hard, brand new, 20 mile ride and didn't get lost makes me very happy indeed.

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