Sunday, August 28, 2011

Size Matters..... or Does It? ....Wyoming

I pulled into cool temperatures in Jackson, WY, (aka as Jackson Hole because the settler for which  it was named thought the valley looked like a big hole in the mountain range), at a relatively good hour--4 pm.

Since the sun didn't set for 3 or 4 hours, I decided it would be a good opportunity to ride; I may not get the 50 miles in, but I could get in some.  Plus, I was stiff from being in the car all day, and was ready for some exercise.  So I pulled on my clothes, pulled out my bike, and commenced to ride.

Now one does not just jump on a bike and begin to pedal in a strange location.  I try to find routes that have been previously mapped on or garminconnect.  To be perfectly honest, though, I am too directionally challenged for these to be effective tools; they do, however, give me some idea where to go.

Jackson made me nervous....the traffic was as heavy as the shopping mall at Christmas, and all the routes I was finding took me on a busy highway.  I had come in that way, so I knew it had a good shoulder and had seem others riding on it.  So off I went....

Much to my surprise, as I turned to go to  Teton National park , a wonderful bike path appeared, and took me off the traffic-ladened road.  Down and back I went, logging just 21 miles; as I stood at the trail's end trying to figure out how to add more miles since sunset was a long way off, a 40 something man with a pot belly came whizzing  by on his Trek.  I hailed him, and explained my dilemma, to which he replied;

"Come ride with me, I'll get you at least 20 more miles."  

So off I pedaled with Bruce, who was a profession ski instructor in the winter, a heli-ski guide in the spring and fall, and a Grand Canyon boat guide in the summer.

Now, if you ever ride with someone who has a gut, check out their legs.....that gut can be deceptive.  We were soon sailing  along at 19 mph, which isn't normally a problem, except I had my touring gears on my bike, was riding a 5% grade, and was at 6000 ft of elevation.  Heck, my heart rate was 100 beats/minute just getting out of the car, let alone trying to keep up with this animal!   I didn't even try to be macho about this...

"Bruce, you're killing me....." I gasped,  "You gotta slow down; I'm an old lady from Texas!"  

He laughed and obliged... a little..... we rode a fast pace, which was good.  I had gotten into the habit of riding quite a bit slower, but taking it all in.  Once I return to my bike club in Dallas, and put my performance gearing back on, I will have to ride faster in order not to be dropped.  But that aside,  I am putting it out there again, 'Don't judge a rider by his gut'.

And, btw, I got all 50 miles in before sunset.  And, as a side note, Jackson has the most incredible network of bike trails I have ever experienced.  Except for the short jaunt on the highway, I never had to ride on the road again during that 50 miles!

I beat the sun.....

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