Ride Number Three

The newly raised handlebars look odd, but they keep me from hunching over them.

On Sunday, I managed to get in bike ride number three. This is quite the feat considering how miserable the spring has been.

Although the day was somewhat cool for June 2nd, in the mid 60’s, I put on the bike gear, filled up the water bottle, and headed out on the CB trail. Thank God it was open.

Prior to Memorial Day weekend, I was driving to work one morning and passed a big electronic sign that said, “CB to close on May 28th.”

I remembering yelling, “Noooooooooo, no, no, no!” to myself in the car. Last year, the same section of CB was closed so that they could put in one of these:

It’s the dreaded roundabout/traffic circle/rotary. I know many of you have been navigating these lovely creatures for years, but somehow they made their way to Wisconsin about ten years ago and never left. Breeding like bunnies, these things.

The road and bike trail were both closed from late June through September. I rode my bike to work about three times last year and had to stop because there isn’t a good alternative to work that doesn’t involve busy roads or hills or mall parking lots.

Naturally, I was not pleased to see the notification of impending doom on May 28th.

Last Thursday, I decided to call the Village to double-check the closure of the trail. The road closure is going to last until the end of September, which means I would probably not ride the bike to work at all this year. Interestingly enough, the Village had no clue about the trail and referred me to the County highway guys who were in charge of the road construction. Upon talking to one of the engineers, he assumed that the trail would be closed and offered his condolences after I told him he was “killing me” in a joking (not angry) manner. We hung up and I carried on, a little sad about the situation.

A few hours later, after a visit to the gym, I noticed a message on my phone. It was from Mr. Engineer. Good news! The trail is not going to close during road construction. He told me to get on my bike and ride.

I really like Mr. Engineer.

The three rides this year have been fairly similar. I ride from home down a few residential streets to connect with the CB trail. Heading south for about three miles, I connect with the Friendship Trail, which takes me over the interstate to the beginning of the three-mile “Loop the Lake” trail. Loop the Lake opened last summer and it’s a wonderful connection of three towns, four bridges, and very attractive surroundings. On Sunday, there were a lot of people walking, biking, skateboarding and fishing along water’s edge. It’s what we do lately when a nice sunny day appears…go outside and enjoy!

I would have made a detour to Jefferson Park to extend the ride, except the route I usually take included another road closure. Ugh. Did you know that we have four seasons in Wisconsin?

Fall, Winter, Spring and Road Construction. Ugh.

Thank goodness this doesn’t include the bike trail.

I’m waiting for it to stop raining so that I can take the bike to the Wiouwash Trail, where there is no road construction. However, it needs to dry up so that the sections that tend to get muddy will not be muddy. Then I’ll only need to worry about watching for gopher holes and horse poop.

My neighbor and I are planning a bike trip in September to the Root River Trail in Minnesota. We’re both looking forward to it, but neither of us have been biking regularly to build up our stamina. Yes, we have over three months left to prepare, but I already feel that a month has been lost to the crappy spring. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that June will be the weather turning point and that by September, we’ll be having an unusually hot end to summer and a warm beginning to autumn.

It would make up for the abundance of spring rain and road construction.

And I could continue to follow Mr. Engineer’s directive to get on the bike and ride.

16 responses to Ride Number Three

  1. Joanne Sisco says:

    Mr Engineer is a great guy. That’s pretty impressive that he contacted you to let you know about the trail!

    You’re doing better than I am. I’ve been outside only once and with a 3-day cycling trip coming up in early August, I share your concerns about not being ready.

    Happy riding and hopefully June will turn around … although we aren’t off to a good start 😕

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I hope you can get out on the bike soon, Joanne. We’re supposed to have ride-to-work weather by Thursday, so I’ll try to make it blow your way. Meanwhile, my brother annoyingly texts me about his 30+ mile rides as the D.C. area must be having better luck.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Yay! I’m so glad your trail isn’t suffering from the construction (it was so nice of the engineer to call). If construction continues on schedule, I would be able to ride to work in about 10 years. I will have long since retired. Good luck prepping for the big ride.

    Please let me know how the handlebar riser works out for you. The lower bars on my bike is what has been causing me to only be able to ride for an hour. I’ve thought about raising them or changing out the bars altogether.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Just do it Dan. Take yor bike to a good repair guy and he can fix you up. The handlebar riser and putting a different stem on has made a huge difference. I still have back issues, but at least the bike will not exacerbate them. My only other issue is appropriately using the rearview mirror my guy installed. I’ve been so used to riding without one that I forget to look at it.

      • Dan Antion says:

        I will get it over there this summer. I have been riding with a mirror for over 20 years. I was mainly riding on busy streets, so it was essential. It takes some getting used to, but it definitely helps.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Because it runs parallel to the road, they may not want the trail users to be too close to the road construction.

      • M-R says:

        Ah, the “we’re here to save you from yourself” philosophy, so prevalent today.

  3. That’s great news on the bike trail! And it might be your call that saved it: Construction crews probably map out a generously “convenient” area for them to close just so they never have to deal with problems. He may have gone and looked at their map and decided, “Hey, ain’t gonna hurt us to leave this open over here. If we need to, we can close it off for a couple of weeks at some point.”

    WTG purty gal!


    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yes, Michael, sometimes being proactive with a phone call has its benefits. I wouldn’t mind a two-week closure…it was the threat of an all-summer closure that was upsetting.

  4. joey says:

    The wetlands photo is so pretty! I wish I was there right now, in that photo, with the sunshine filtering through the trees.
    It just be rainin and rainin here.
    So glad you can ride, and so pleased Mr Engineer let you know the good news!

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