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It’s Saturday.

It’s Saturday with temperatures in the 60s.

It’s Saturday with a nice hefty gift from Mom Henry and the state tax refund in my bank account (the refund is 666… should I be worried?).

Six hours of riding in the last two days have I.  My road bike thinks that I am back in love with it.  I hate to break it to my white titanium beauty, but it’s going to be pretty lonely once the trails are dry enough to ride.  Today I rode a little over four hours, after riding nearly two hours yesterday.  Perhaps getting the blood pressure under control helps, because I am feeling very good on the bike.

My plan today was to ride a route that takes me a little further out west of Chicagoland, one with a few more hills and one big climb in the middle.  Usually that route takes me around two hours.  However, ten miles into my ride I met two guys who seemed to match the pace I am comfortable with right now, maybe just a little faster but enough to motivate me.  They used my big draft for a while, then invited me to ride along with them, a route that would take me farther north and west than I was planning to ride.  And I knew it would add a few more hours to my ride.  So I joined in.

Their route threw a few more extended climbs into my ride, too.  I felt myself turning to toast after about two hours into the ride, especially after a very long climb.  However, I was enjoying myself, happy that in the middle of March I am able to ride for an extended period of time, especially after the health scare I had two weekends ago.

I bid adieu to my new riding friends about ten miles from home.  It was a bit of a relief to be back to riding by my lonesome.  I backed my pace down to around 18 mph for a spin home.

Then the gut gremlin hit me.  A few guys I ride with carry a baggie stocked with TP when they ride.  I wished I was riding with them.  Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a large open area close to my house called Fermilab.  There are no restroom facilities.  There are dense groves of pine trees situated next to a corn field, though….

There are times when I am really happy to roll into my driveway at the end of a ride.  Today was one of those days.

I was happy.  It was such a good ride, even considering the gremlin attack.  My body had a pleasant burn, not an exhausted burn, so I knew that I had not pushed too hard (we’ll see what tomorrow brings).  I grabbed a quick shower, then turned on my laptop PC to do some quick research — for bike rack dealers.

Why not reward myself for some hard work?  My parents have been asking me to reward myself with a new bike rack for the new VW.  Mom sent me a check that made it realistic for me to buy a good rack.

20160312_171930So I visited my bike shop, purchased a new Yakima Holdup tray style bike rack.  It’s the nicest bike rack that I have ever had — it folds up or folds away for trunk access, has a hitch pin lock and cable locks for each bike, and it can be expanded to a four bike rack.  To top it off, it really looks good on the VW.

Life is good when bikes are involved.