I wish I could take everyone I know on a bike ride with me. Seriously. While it might take a while for a person to recover from the sight of me wearing spandex, the joy and wonder of what you see and experience on a bicycle is worth any ill effect brought on by seeing an old guy in bike shorts.
Besides, I look pretty dang good in bike shorts.
When I added mountain biking to my repertoire two years ago, the list of places I want to share has grown. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many road rides that I have done that anyone should experience at least once, such as riding in the clouds on the Blue Ridge Parkway or winding through the steep climb on Johnson’s Mound here in Chicagoland or descending the Wildcat in western Wisconsin. Mountain biking has taken me into some wondrously quiet as well as exciting places, the beauty of the woods and the rocks, challenges and variety I never experience while riding my bike on the road. There is the thrill of bombing a steep drop, shredding a twisting trail, splashing through a clear creek, bouncing over a tall log, rolling over a large rock.
If I had the choice of what I could do every day, it would be riding a bicycle.
Does that seem strange for a man who is nearly 54 years old to say? Probably not or at least not any more.
Last week I took a business trip to the Minneapolis area. From where I live just west of Chicago, it is almost exactly a six hour drive. When I get the chance to drive instead of fly, I drive. Why? I have nothing against flying. The cool thing about driving is that I can take my mountain bike with me. So for this business trip, I left on Saturday morning, drove 4 hours to a place called Levis Mound (close to Neillsville, Wisconsin) where there was promise of what was listed as an IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) epic ride.
I wasn’t disappointed. Holy cow was that place beautiful with some of the most awesome trails I have ever seen. Take a look.
Then there were the Minneapolis regional trail, like Lebanon Hills Regional Park, ten minutes from my hotel room. I rode almost four hours at Levis Mound on Saturday, then rode Sunday/Monday/Wednesday at Lebanon Hills. It was such a good week.
I made it back from Mnneapolis on Thursday in time to play 12″ softball on the men’s team I have been asked to play on. My friend, Curt, thinks I am one of the better third basemen he has seen. I don’t know about that, but I played very well Thursday night. I am nearly 54 years old. Sooner or later my age is going to catch up with me. Some day I am not going to be able to ride like am now. When is that going to happen? I don’t know, but I am going to enjoy it while I still can.
Come ride with me. Do it now. I hope you all can!