On Wednesdays I don't have to be at work until 12:30. This morning I rolled out of bed knowing I was going to do some type of outside exercise to take advantage of what might be the last of the nice weather. Today the high temperature is supposed to be in the mid-80s (almost ten degrees over average), but starting tomorrow it looks like we'll be flirting with record highs (in the mid-90s, maybe even close to 100!).
What type of exercise, though? I've been doing a lot of walking and thought today I'd mix it up. Hubby Tony and I have been riding our bikes around the area a bit in the evenings; I decided to strike out on my own this morning. After breakfast I applied sunscreen and grabbed my cell phone. I took my bike down from the hook in the garage, put on my helmet, closed the garage door, and headed out.
Leaving the neighborhood, I took my turn at the three way stop sign by the school complex where an elementary and a middle school share a common entrance street, then rode one block and waited for the light to turn green at the stop light. I went left, then right at the first street into a subdivision.
Sometimes the subdivisions around here flow one into another. Sometimes streets are marked No Outlet. However, if you know the pedestrian cut throughs you can disregard the signs. I rode through parts of three municipalities (Manchester, Winchester, and Ballwin), trying to stay close to the curb. Some of the streets had been refinished so many times, though, the asphalt stuck up two inches higher than the gutter and made it unsafe. On those I was forced to ride in the street. There were few cars, though, so it wasn't a problem.
My bike has ten speeds, but it's older and the gears don't work as well as they should. The hills I rode would be nothing to a real rider, but were intimidating to me. I decided I could either get off and walk the bike up them, or stand up on the pedals and attack. I chose the latter, channeling my inner Spinning persona to propel me to the top.
I looped around neighborhoods for about 45 minutes, then headed back towards home. This time when I passed the school complex there was a line of cars waiting to drop off at the elementary school. I waved to the crossing guard as I passed by, and got a friendly wave in return. In the garage it was harder to put the bike on the hook than it was to remove it, but I felt like that was a sign I'd gotten some good exercise. If I keep it up I'll be flying around on two wheels in no time.