Bike Trek

This morning, I did it.  I rode to work on my bicycle.  The total distance was a mere 13.2 miles traveled in 1 hour 15 min for an avg. 10.56 mph.  Had that been all nice even road so sidewalk, the trip would have been pretty easy.  There were a lot of spots where the side walk abruptly ended or was in really bad shape.  Thankfully, the Gitchee Gumee is a hybrid, so taking in off rad for a little bit was no trouble.  When I got here, I was pretty sweaty, but thanks to a tip from my cuz, I had some baby wipes on hand for a quick towel bath.
Note to self, your work keys are on that ring with your car keys.  You need to bring it even if you are not driving.
Here is the route taken:

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Update:  I made the trip back home, so tat is a total of 26.5 miles on the bike today.  I know it sounds cliche’, but the ride home was much harder.  I was tired from this morning then the whole way back felt like it was up hill with the wind and sun in my face and there were a LOT more cars on the road.  I actually had to get off and walk the bike up a couple of hills and stop twice to catch my breath.  It was tough, but so worth it.

Me and Gary Fisher

Many years ago, maybe 2000, I went to a car show with my dad and brothers.  I entered a couple of drawings and a month later got a call that I had won a bike.   I have ridden her very little over the years.  Melissa got more use out of her than I did.  After two moves and lots of neglect, I finally took my bike in to get her tuned up.  I had become inspired by my amazing aunt that I have reconnected with and also hearing that love another friend had for her two wheeled companion.
I looked around for her online, but she appears to be too old to list. only goes back to 2002, but the model I have appears to be a 1998 Gitche Gumee.  Notice there are no pics.  A Google search turns up very little as well.  This is the Gitche that gets me around:

The orange really stands out and has not faded in all these years.  There are a few scratches, but these were mostly from my DW shoving the bike in the trunk of the Camry for lack of a bike rack.  The only things I have modified are the seat and tires.  I put a slightly wider, comfier seat as well as fatter, smoother road tires.  I find  I look forward to getting on her now, even in the heat.
I hope to start using her to commute to work.  I work about 13 miles from my home, but there are some pretty treacherous roads between me and my goal.  I am only a bout 3 miles from the TRE, and 2 miles from the TRE station to my job.  That might be an option, but it is $7.50 to ride the train. 🙁
I am not a MAMIL by any means, but I am only getting started, so we’ll see.

Urban Trekking

This weekend I took an urban hike.  On July 4, 2010, I struck out at 9:42 am to visit a little burial plot along Airport Frwy in Irving.  Why?  Well…why not?  I have driven by the site for about 7 years working in Dallas.  I was curious to know who was buried there and for how long.  Now I know.
I could have driven there and been back before lunch, but I felt like hiking out to the site made more sense.  
  1. I need the exercise. 
  2. Get to know my area better
  3. See how good my Vibram Five Fingers shoes really are. 
  4. Needed some time to my self. 
  5. Give me the chance to really connect with my own mortality.
The walk out was great.  It was still relatively cool and I was excited to go.  Along the way I saw a large rabbit hiding out near a house.  One of the places I came across was an old bridge:

I also ran across a guy going the opposite direction really close to my destination.  I said hello and he asked if I could help him with directions.  He was trying to get to a Walmart or other retailer to get some socks.  I got him turned around (he thought he was headed east, but was going west) and we walked and talked for a bit.  It seems he had flown in from Phoenix, AZ the night before and walked from DFW Airport to a hotel near Hwy 161.  He left because his oldest son had recently died at 25 from a drug overdose.  He felt lost and just needed to get away.  He said he knew a guy in Frisco and was trying to get there.  He mentioned (more than once) how many Indians (dot not feather) we have here and how very humid it is.  I could not disagree.  After about a half mile, I found my spot and pointed him towards his destination.

I arrived at the burial plot, took some pictures, made a small map and took notes of who is buried there. 

When I was done, I grabbed a sandwich at a local gas station and started back. About half way back, I really started to feel it.  There is something about my hip shape that just makes it hard to walk long distances.  It also did not help that it had rained the day before and I kept getting my feet wet.  The shoes were great, but wet feet are just hard to tread on.  I had to stop twice and by the time I got to my street I was dragging my feet.  A hot shower and some Tiger Balm later, I felt tired but content.

I hope to make more treks in my neighborhood.

I had hoped to put a map of my trek on Google maps, but it is acting wonky.  With any luck they can get that cleared up and I’ll have a nice view of my trip to share.