What got the Wheels Rolling.

I love the outdoors. I’ve always been a bit of an outdoors person. I grew up in a small New England town, and I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by woodlands, lakes, and streams. As a child I traveled miles from home sometimes on foot, but most often on my bicycle. At the time it was just a means of transportation. I enjoyed it, but for the most part, the bike was just a tool to get me to where I wanted to go, to do what I wanted to do.

Fast forward to my late 20′s and I picked up cycling again. This time as a way to get myself in better physical shape. Lifting weights was good for building muscle, but for more my hobby at the time, hiking, it did nothing for my stamina. To me, cycling was better than running, so that’s what I chose. I went out and picked myself up a 2004 Specialized Allez triple. It was a sleek little bike, and I was putting miles under the tires all over the south eastern area of Massachusetts.

I hiked the mountains of New Hampshire as often as I could when I lived in New England.

Well, I moved from my childhood home, and found myself in Florida. Where I ended up was not as friendly to road biking as all of those sleepy New England towns. I tried it for a while, but just couldn’t get back in the roll of things. I tried walking around down here, but never really enjoyed it. My wife and I made several walks through the swamps of the Choctawhatchee River basin, and I’ve explored pretty much all of the “local” state park and it’s 1600 acres of preserve. My wife and I would do some “water hiking”, with the canoe, and then our kayaks. While I enjoyed our times together, something was missing, I just wasn’t really enjoying it like I used to.

Fast forward again. I tried walking around down here, but never really enjoyed it. My wife and I made several walks through the swamps of the Choctawhatchee River basin, and I’ve explored pretty much all of the “local” state park and it’s 1600 acres of preserve. My wife and I would do some “water hiking”, with the canoe, and then our kayaks. While I enjoyed our times together, something was missing, I just wasn’t really enjoying it like I used to. I’ve gotten married, older, and a little heavier than my youthful self. My wife had taken up walking and running. She was riding her beach cruiser bike, and logging it all on her fitness tracker using the GPS in her smart phone. She began to brag about all the miles she was logging. Sneering at me, and my growing gut as she did so. A challenge was presented, the gauntlet thrown down. I accepted.

Then enter mountain biking. I’ve found my passion again. I look forward to going out in the woods.

I started off with my yard sale special, an old Giant Sedona. I was having fun again. I was out in the woods all the time, riding alone, or with some local riders. I was enjoying it so much, I felt it was justified to put a dent in my finances, and recently I upgraded to a new bike…

I feel it’s been worth it, Take today for example, I worked my shift, and came home. I took a nap while the heat worked it’s way down to something comfortable. Up until recently, I would have just hung out around the house for the rest of the evening. But instead, I grabbed the bike, and went off exploring.

I had taken my old 26er out on some service roads in the State Forest just down the road. I had been stopped in my tracks a few times due to the soft sand. My new Trek Cobia 29er just pushed through this with ease. Sure, it was better packed from the rain yesterday, but I’d like to think that the bike had something to do with it as well.

About this point, I started to pause to take pictures. So enough with the words, and I’ll let them do the rest of the talking….

Have you ever seen the flower of a pitcher plant before?

I managed to cross though this with relative ease. I love my new 29er!

I cheated, I popped out from the woods, and took pavement home.

Along the way was one of the county beach accesses. I was able to use the foot rinse station to give my bike a bath. I then took a couple shots of the beach as a backdrop.

It was a great way to end the ride. I had another mile or two to get back to the house. All in all about a 10.5 mile trip, with half of that on previously unexplored (by me) mud filled service roads. There’s plenty more out there, some of them were visible with google earth. I’d love to get permission to put up some trail markers, and establish a loop or two out there.

Next step, buy the wife a bike, so she can join me on a few of these wheeled excursions.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s