100 Mile Weekend in the Country
As proud as my legs and mind feel about cycling 100 miles in two days, Zach’s legs cycled 100 miles and carried him eight miles on a run the eve of our departure. (?!) WHAT?! If you like the kinds of things I do, but you want stats and details and a cocoa skinned man showing you how, follow him and be satisfied. He impresses me so much.
This weekend is the perfect example of how much more your body can do than you think! At the beginning of the summer, not even a quick 30 mile bike ride around town and 2 mile jog would have happened in the same set of days. But, with good sleep and really - actually - good- for - you - food AND time and training, it’s amazing to feel so accomplished and not totally drained on the other side of this weekend.
Saturday and Sunday morning were the dreamy kind of mornings. Saturday was overcast and cool. Fall smells swept in our open windows, and it was the best nose treat.
There’s a great little fun rush of feelings before a weekend ride (or a couple of rides) - the stillness and rest of Saturday morning, looking ahead with anticipation of days off of work, open windows, black coffee, and sleepy eyes and bare feet colliding with your mental psyche prepping for the focus it takes to pedal all day (or all weekend) up and down hills and talking across the apartment about where your chamois bibs are and which socks should I wear today and did you pump up the tires to 75 PSI and will we need to bring a snack this time. But when you finally do get those bibs on and your cycle cap wearing husband has whipped up something like the below, you’re just fine right in the middle of those two colliding feelings.
We set out to ride to The Gilbert acreage to smoke meat (obviously you knew this was coming) and also to hang out with our family and be in the country for the day!
Because 28 miles seemed like a breeze, Zach added a 15 mile extra loop on to the front of our ride, but it was through trees and near rivers and through downtown and then out on my usual work commute (more trees and streams) and then out to the west!
We rode through city streets, down the trails, along a lonnnnnggg stretch of bike trail in the burbs, out into the open country, under arches of shady trees, and finally up a few miles of gravel ending with just a KILLLLLLLLLERRRRRR HILL that rose my heart rate to max capacity in like, nine seconds, and kept it there in a choke hold for another minute or two.
Here’s the actual route for the curious.
Below is where we spent most of the day! Pulling seed pods off beautiful flowers to save for next year and talking about what’s good and what’s hard in our lives right now and dreaming about experiences ahead and reminding each other how much we have to be grateful for.
…..just out of sight is a bunch of really great chicken thighs and legs that were AMAZING.
Everything is fresh right now!! As a new gardening wo-man, it’s fun to get to see everyone else’s August bounty. We ate tiny fresh strawberries and huge ripe tomatoes with our smoked meat!
DAY TWO HERE WE ARE
Sunday we had an equally sleepy and excited morning as we prepped for another ride to the country!
Another plate of seasoned lamb and eggs and green garden tomato breakfast from Zach and we hopped on our bikes again in pursuit of good chats and fresh food.
No added loop this time, we just set out west for 30 miles of town streets, busy intersections, streams and tree trails, again the lonnnnggggg suburban stretch, and this time add in one mile of highway shoulder riding, topped off with two miles of “just-laid-this-week” gravel riding…
Again, the actual route for the continued curious.
But none of the loose gravel or windy highway mattered when we rolled into the most beautiful homestead that our friends just acquired. Greeted by farm kittens, farm pup, ground cherries, and handed a beer.
HOW AND WHY IS OUR LIFE SO GREAT?!
A plate full of “farm fresh, locally grown, organic, cage free, etc, etc” was placed in front of us and we ate all the things that were full of the most flavor possible!
Listen, these grapes?! Every single one was like a tiny glass of wine.
The rest of the afternoon was full of the most wonderful farm tour and the best conversation. Again, another afternoon spent eating fresh berries, talking about what is good and what is hard and hoping to gain some guidance from trusted friends as we all pursue our curiosities and questions.
This time, though, there were chickens and ducks nearby!
If a long weekend brings Zach and I lots of time together, moments that improve our communication, exercise, the ability to spend almost all of the waking hours outside amongst trees and streams and fresh garden produce, really good food, and THEN also time spent talking and listening and pondering and encouraging each other in our belief and faith of Jesus Christ and what we hold to be true and dear to us?!
That is a life full of rich gifts.
We are grateful for our friends and our family and for weekends like these!!