Today I decided to go for a bike ride. I had the afternoon to myself and while previously I would have thought "Nah, I'll just take it easy." I decided I needed some more saddle time. I hadn't been out since the race and figured some "easy" kilometres would help
Hannah generously suggested I take her hardtail out, if I wasn't looking to hit anything too tough. I took her up on the offer and wished her a fun afternoon with friends. I geared up, collected the bike and got pedalling. I headed towards the Phoenix Park cutting through some other parks along the way and enjoying time away from traffic. Once at the Phoenix park I immediately turned right and followed the boundary wall. The storm had turned the ground into a waterlogged mess, even under trees, and the going was pretty tough.
I've cycled in the Phoenix Park a few times, but I'm not overly familiar with all the little trails and hidden routes. Had I not been intending to go watch a friend play sports, I probably would have stayed out trying to find a few more fun segments. I was caught out once, on a climb. The ground was so loose that my wheel just spun and I had to finish the short sharp climb on foot. Otherwise, I was able to get good and muddy as I attempted to follow my nose to the correct exit. Once out, I made my way out of town just in time to catch the end of the game.
The return journey was less eventful. I stuck mostly to tarmac and concrete cycle paths. I had hope to complete a full loop of the Phoenix Park between the outward and homeward journeys. Alas, my feet were cold, so I felt the prudent thing to do was focus on getting home quickly. I did manage to set some personal bests on segments, both uphill and down today. And, while I was tired getting home, I didn't feel like my legs were dead or my lungs were burning. Ultimately, I consider this a success. Had I paid more attention to my distances I might have gone to set a record distance for me. Unfortunately I was short by 6km. I think I had it in me, and probably would have done it had I completed the loop, but alas it's for another day.
Time: 2hrs 23mins "moving time"
Elevation: 464m climbed.
I'm feeling pretty good now about round 2. We'll have to bring our A game and see where we get. See you on the trails, and best of luck.