This is just plain incredible, awesome, fantabulous, wonderful, and whatever word that describes the best of blessings. Who woulda thunk that I would have spent the last five days on a bike, in shorts and a tee shirt, during the first full week of November? It is usually a crap shoot this time of the year, with moisture and cold the usual battle.

Thursday found me throwing on my bike clothes as soon as I hit the clock out button on my work computer at 4 PM. It was difficult to know exactly what I would be facing for weather because my condo almost always is cooler than the temperature outside. I had spent the day with an electric heater close by, albeit while wearing shorts and with bare feet (ain’t working from home great?). I have to admit, the prior two weeks had been cold and depressing, so I had started my winter cocooning already. The plump had already started to gather, my body just a bit too into the laziness. I hit the forest preserves trails with gusto, however, determined to make the best of it. To my surprise, work had been completed on the marshland remediation close by and those trails had been reopened. The new trail was beautiful, with hard packed crushed limestone that welcomed the ample rubber on my fat bike. The miles melted away furiously as I pumped away, oblivious to any objection my legs might have been sending my way, the scenery gorgeous as the sunset painted every bit of landscape in my view.

It wasn’t until I stopped to chat with a few friends that I realized that my body wasn’t happy with a fast ride. I felt my muscles begin to cramp as I stood and straddled my bike while talking to them, excited to see my friends for the first time in several months, a downside of this whole time of subtle quarantine. I arrived home, showered, waited for a friend to join me for dinner and some binge watching (Designated Survivor, my new fave). My muscles were tight and I felt the rush of energy from my ride begin to ebb. It was going to be a short evening, the call to rest a bit earlier than normal.

I awoke the next day to a fresh body. Really, I expected to be a bit wasted. I worked my typical tough Friday, then rinsed and repeated the day before. The ride that evening was even better. After the ride, a roast and more binge watching. I was very happy, the weather absolutely buoying.

Saturday morning? Up at 7, bike on the car, to my favorite singletrack with coffee in hand. I bombed the crowded trails. Oddly enough, but not surprisingly, when I arrived, I had to park in another parking lot because the place was packed with people enjoying the weekend like I was enjoying it. My trail system has become a popular place this season, largely due to the pandemic. It’s a blessing, the popularity means that the trails are getting more attention, the park district realizes finally what a gem the park is. While it’s different having to be more aware of hikers and newbies on the trail, it’s better to have better maintained trails and additions to the system.

I got a ton done on Saturday — car cleaned, garage swept, groceries bought. Good weather brings a better, more energized attitude.

Sunday found me up early again. Church was at 8:15 AM, largely because I have to register for a slot at the service due to COVID. The only slots open were at the early service, my preference. I went to church, hit the trails again, this time another trail system, one less technical and more of an extended aerobic workout. I rode three hours, pleasantly toasted but with plenty left in the tank. I tried to nap when I got home, but the sunny day was just not conducive to sleep. Of course, the poor performance of the Bears may have contributed. I managed to catch the end of the third quarter and, well, the Bears are not all that fun to watch right now. I instead turned my attention to dinner prep — a nice chocolate pie and a light chicken alfredo recipe (grilled chicken chopped up and mixed into a garlic cheese sauce with spinach and penne pasta). Another friend joined me for dinner, the food and Moscato excellent. Yes… more binge watching.

Tonight, a pleasant spin on the fat bike. Tomorrow, looks to be another good day. I may get six day in a row on the bike, unprecedented for this time of year!

Interestingly, the new campus pastor at the church I attended the last thirty years wants to interview me tomorrow. I think she is interested in seeing what kind of stories she can drag out of me!