Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sights and Sounds of Monday’s Bike Ride

The sky was overcast again when I left home for the ride but I think I found the right combination of clothes to blunt the cool air. I’ve been wearing a long sleeved technical shirt with a parachute nylon jacket and those seem to work well in about 60 degree weather. My thighs felt a little sore which I attributed to the walk/jog I did last Saturday but it didn’t matter. I really wanted to get outdoors and ride. About 4 miles into it, I was surprised to see a peacock (or peahen) about 25 meters away on my left side. I wonder where it came from.  It didn’t seem like a pet. Maybe one of those birds that roam in Palos Verdes got lost. Further down the bike path as I approached the 7th Street bridge, I heard a loud explosion which appeared to have come from a smokestack in one of the factories or refineries near the Port of Long Beach. After a few minutes, I heard a fire truck siren so I guessed they were on their way to check out the problem.
While I was riding at the area connecting the river path to the shoreline path, I was suddenly blocked by a whole bunch of elementary school students who were waiting to board a boat for an outing. I was able to weave my way between them without dismounting, but on the way back, there were even more of them. So I had to dismount and walk my bike through the gauntlet of kids to get to the other side of the bike path. One of the parents/teachers/chaperones wished me good luck. Thanks, lady.
But let’s get back to my outbound journey. When I reached the shoreline bike path, I finally saw someone I knew. I’ve been riding that path about once a week for the past couple of months and this was the first time I bumped into someone from our running club (AREC). It was Leila, whom I ran with at the Wrigley River Run 10K last June. We exchanged a few updates about her marathon training and my injury then continued on our way. She on a 4 mile easy run, and I was on what I thought would be my usual 25 mile ride.
When I reached my usual turnaround point, I decided to continue riding to the end of the peninsula which I knew was just over a mile. On weekends, that street is usually busy with runners, cyclists, walkers, and cars. But not on Monday morning. After reaching the cul-de-sac turnaround, I headed back home knowing that I would have ridden a couple of extra miles. When I got back to where I heard the explosion earlier, I didn’t see any signs of a fire or any other unusual activity, so it must have just been one of those flares that refinery smokestacks sometimes do.
But wait, there’s more! When I reached the part of the river bike path where I was supposed to get back on the street to reach home, I didn’t exit but kept going, and going, and going. I’ve been having some apprehension about riding that part of the trail because it’s not in a good part of town. However, I didn’t encounter any problems. When my watch said I had been riding for 2 hours, I turned around and headed back home. My turnaround point was the Atlantic Avenue bridge at the border of Long Beach and Compton.
This bike path appears so very well maintained. I saw a couple of trucks from the City of Long Beach and Los Angeles county checking things out. I am, and I’m sure all of the other cyclists, runners, and walkers are, appreciative for something the government has done well.
The total for the day was 32.5 miles in 2 hours, 7 minutes, and change. Even though the ride felt harder towards the end, the pace was the same as last Thursday’s 25 mile ride. This has been my longest ride so far. Then something happened which doesn’t usually when I’m working out. I got hungry during the ride. The weight training session that I had planned after the ride would have to wait another day. I had lunch instead.

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Kelsey: the Blonde Bullet said...

Nice ride! Sounds exciting. Crazy about the explosion!

Artsdeco said...

Congratulations for your blog.
You want to change the wallpaper of your blog, I give you this address:

Noel DLP said...

Thanks for reading, Kelsey and Artsdeco 8-)and nice backgrounds too Artsdeco