With fall colors comes winterizing chores. I’m not complaining. I took most of the last year off from any major farm chores. So, I thought I’d better spend some time getting the horses’ water tank boxes repaired and repainted before the cold, wet weather gets here. I should’ve taken a picture of them — I’ll do that soon and post it here. The insulation boxes have made a huge difference in our electric bill over the last couple of winters and it lets my mind rest a little easier. I just hated wasting energy heating water in heavy plastic tanks where I knew the heat dissipated just about as quickly as it was generated!
My folks came over and my Dad gave me a hand. That always makes doing chores more pleasant. After we had prepared three large boxes for painting and moved them into the garage in case it rained…. I thought. Hmmm, there’s still a little bit of daylight left and Scooter needs a little exercise. So, we headed off. In my mind, I thought — I’ll try a leisurely pace today. Nice relaxing ride and just toodle along. I took deep breaths as I rode out the driveway and even yawned once or twice as I coasted to the stop sign after the first half mile.
But, that’s when the ride changed. A ‘rabbit’ , that I hadn’t even seen in my mirror, rode by me – moving like a gazelle. Do they ride bikes? Anyway, when this stealth rider passed, my attitude toward today’s ride changes as if someone had flicked a switch inside me. My pace immediately (if not sooner…) picked up and I was off. I wasn’t chasing the rider who was now several hundred feet in front of me, I was reeling him in. Keeping my sights on him and gauging whether I was gaining or losing ground. Of course, the rabbit couldn’t have cared less. This was my game, not his. He was a very fit, fast rabbit too. That made the game more challenging. I liked that.
I set a very fast pace to my first time-check (the stop sign on CO 56 near the ‘new’ firehouse). I got there in just over 10 minutes. Seeing this pace, I decided to see what I could do over the rest of my ride. The rabbit was still in front of me, but I was closing the gap at a respectable rate. We rode along for another 10 minutes before he pulled off onto a wide section of the shoulder at the opening of a housing development. It looked like he just needed a break! Huh! I didn’t let up at all. If anything, I may have put just a little extra ‘umph’ into my pedal strokes as I came along side and then passed by his rest stop. That’s the last I saw of him. I rode on. I felt good. There was little, if any, wind and the temperature was perfect of pushing the pace. Although I was definitely exerting, I felt like I could maintain this effort for a long time. I was crusing along at 19 and 20 mph. I surprised myself!
I rode up by the rez and around back to CO56. I think of it as my ‘lollipop’ ride since there is a long straight stretch and then a big loop at the top that brings me back to the top of the lollipop stick. I raced down the lollipop stick towards home like there was no tomorrow. I did feel a bit tired towards the end, but pushed on to see if I could get a personal best for the ride. Unfortunately, my Garmin was not charged up, so all I had was my Vetta-C-16 backup computer. I rolled back into the driveway at 53:55. I’d have to look through my old hand-written ride times, but I’m almost positive that’s my new personal best. I covered 16.2 miles and had an average speed of 18 mph.
Wonder how fast I can really ride that thing if I keep training? Is a 20 mph lollipop ride out of the question?