I tend to struggle with down time. I would generally always prefer to be doing something rather than nothing. It is this tendency that often leads me to plan more activities than any mortal could hope to accomplish, mostly out of fear and loathe of wasting a few moments.
Last week Melissa and I drove to Dallas to spend the New Year holiday with my two brothers who live in that area, their families, and my folks who flew in as well. Our tiny car was packed full of clothes, presents, and of course, my bike, the Thundercougarfalconbird. We met my 3 week old niece and saw my 2 year old nephew for just the second time. The festivities were joyous and a great time was had by all.
I found an hour of down time on Wednesday afternoon. It was incredibly cold, colder than it should be in Texas (even in January). It was getting dark, and the Dallas rush hour traffic was picking up. I had plenty of reasons not to go, but I couldn’t bear the thought of having driven 900 miles with my bike in the back of the car and not getting in a single ride. So I rode.
Riding in a strange place is always fun, but I was a little more apprehensive about this ride. The arterial roads were narrow and busy. The residential roads didn’t seem to go very far. Fortunately, as I made my way out of my brother’s neighborhood I came across a newish housing development, which wasn’t on the map. It had good roads and not a lot of traffic. I was surprised that after I wound through this neighborhood for a while the road connected to the next subdivision, then the next, then the next. Before I knew it I had gone 7-8 miles through residential neighborhoods and I was out of time. I found a good turnaround point when I reached a lake, then retraced my path back home. I got 15 or so miles in for the first ride of 2008. I didn’t freeze. I didn’t get run over. Mission accomplished.
There were some small rolling hills, but the total elevation change was less than 100 ft.