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This weeks reader submitted story is from our home state Michigan!
Send in your own cycling story (with a picture if possible) along with your name and address and we'll send you some free stickers!!!
To break in my first real bicycle, a 2009 Giant Bowery single speed, I signed up for a midnight to dawn ride in my hometown of Minneapolis with a high school friend, Ashley. About 200 riders participated and they varied greatly in both age and skill level. The ride itself was casual, with two distance options. The longer route was about 38 miles. The shorter route was ten miles shorter and cut out a significant part of St. Paul, including the ice cream place Ashley and I planned on stopping at.
Aside from some problems with my front brake, the ride was going very well. We had ridden through several suburbs of Minneapolis and were heading towards the point where the riders split into two groups, those who would take the long route, and those who chose the shortcut. Ashley and I had to stop to adjust my brakes and became disoriented. Also, it was about 2 am, and my sense of direction was more impaired than usual.
After several miles of hills, Ashley and I realized that we were lost. Neither of us recognized our surroundings, so we pulled over to consult our maps, which were woefully lacking in detail. Eventually, we realized that we had accidentally taken the shortcut. Now at this point, we had two options. The logical choice would be to just ride straight to the creamery to get our ice cream and continue on the long route after that. But our 2 am logic compelled us to ride back along the entire shortcut and take the long route, adding about 20 miles or so to our ride.
When we finally arrived at the end of the ride, we were exhausted. We had almost fallen asleep when we stopped for a break on a bridge, gotten lost again on a University campus, and I had nearly crashed my bike trying to do the dance from the “Bad Romance” music video. I was too tired to eat breakfast and had to beat morning rush hour traffic on my ride home. Those last seven miles were the hardest I’ve ever ridden. They seemed to pass in flashes, with time slowing down every time I reached the slightest incline.
Despite the difficulties, that night confirmed my belief that the best adventures can only be had on a bike. I’m doing the same ride next summer. Minus the unnecessary extra twenty miles.
Thanks for such a great blog!
Thank you Anne! Be on the lookout for your stickers!
We'll be back Monday with the story of this years summer tour!!!