Friday, July 24, 2009

Cinnamon Roll Training Diet

Three girls, three bikes, an assortment of yummy foods (homemade rice krispy treats with reese pieces), coffee, and a copy of Wheeling Around Louisville makes a Saturday morning nearly perfect. Choosing a route was more like looking through a teen magazine as we took turns ooohing and ahhhhing over the descriptions of the rides. We finally settled on an Indiana route called Leota Hill Ride. We initially ignored the word HILL in the title because the description reads "landmark covered bridge" and "general store advertising best pizza in town" (important note: we never saw another pizza place). Car loaded, snacks consumed, we were off.

Pre-ride discussion ranged from Botox, to breast implants, to a demolished love life all culminating in a small state park parking lot. One important note...when you decide to cycle whether road or trail or both (eeek, some people do both), you become intimately close with your riding partners. You become comfortable enough that you will change clothes nearly buck naked in the middle of a state park with no effort or care. Once we were settled in our spandex, we tucked away our cue sheets and headed out.

Until now, I had only been on a few country rides and I already had memorized that route. It is pretty, but this ride wins the blue ribbon. First, rolling scenery for miles. Literally corn fields, wild flowers, baby animals, and ponds spreading out as far as the eye can see. There is a fair amount of distraction for a not-so-super-easy ride. Remember, the word HILL was in the title, so, about 8 miles in, we approached a steady slow hill. I was beyond thankful again for my compact crank and I found you can summit a hill at 5.5 mph (insert laughter here!). However, what the book failed to mention was the amount of additional hills we would encounter. Up, down, up, down.....up.....and down again. I was trying every trick I know to conserve the tiny bits of energy I had left when a sign stood out..."Bake Sale Every Saturday"....and you could hear all of our brakes being applied as we turned around.

Less than 10 minutes later, we found ourselves sitting in the front yard of a lovely Amish family enjoying their homemade cinnamon rolls. The icing, the bun, EVERYTHING, was delicious. It was a surreal moment being surrounded by a milking cow, push mower, and ample rows of sweet corn--sorry no Blackberry reception here. Two mini-adults entertained our curiosity explaining their farm and their life. I walked out their front gate telling the others, "We have a blessed life."

The remainder of the ride was a lactic acid, leg burning, thigh scorching pedal challenge (for me anyway!). I learned how to manage "rollers"....and I should note, I do not like rollercoasters. These back to back hills felt like rollercoasters. Others coached or encouraged me on and I peddled while burping cinnamon roll and Gu water (note: Gu water is not a good chaser for homemade cinnamon rolls). I was convinced that even if I threw up the cinnamon roll, it would still taste good (these are the concessions to come to accept on the road or trail).

The last few miles of the ride were skewed by the fact, we realized we were lost (uh oh). A closed street overgrown with weeds and wildlife meant we had an abrupt, but scenic, detour. This could be one of those moments where three women, now tired, burned out and hungry could lose it....but instead, we found ourselves preparing to ask for directions at a Shell station complete in our spandex and sweat covered faces. Thankfully directions were not needed from any poorly paid attendants as we found our forest and car only a few miles ahead (thank you!).

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