I went riding twice this weekend, which is a major breakthrough at this point. My personal fitness has suffered greatly from the K-flood and subsequent aftermath. Riding in the city, especially through Midcity and the Lakefront is really nice right now. The debris in the roads is finally picked up enough to not scare you into the way of cars and even when you do have to swerve to avoid a nail, pile of dirt, or random household item, there are very few cars to worry about.
Saturday I rode solo and it was overcast, windy and COLD. It was my first time really riding in the cold and despite the massive amount of snot that I had to deal with I really enjoyed myself. I rode up Esplanade to City Park, which is a heartbreaking sight to see. Hundreds of the beautiful Live Oak trees that filled the park before the flood are now missing, their stumps the only sign that any trees were ever there at all. And everything is brown, the only bright spot is the mini Christmas in the Oaks display that volunteers somehow were able to get up and running. After a few depressing laps around my old training route, I rode back home.
Sunday I rode with Chris through City Park up Marconi to the Lakefront, which is in really great shape. It was a beautiful, sunny day and a tailwind carried us through the first lap, all the way up to the Industrial Canal. The headwind on the way back was horrible and my loss of fitness really kicked in as I struggled to maintain 15 Mph on the flats and 13 Mph on climbs. Despite my weak sauce on the way back out, I really enjoyed the ride.
Both days felt great and somehow the experience of riding out to the Lake brings closure to many of the things that had been plaguing me after the flood. I rediscovered confidence in my riding and I'm finally ready to start riding regularly again. It's going to be a moderate December, with rides on the weekends and the consumption of some Holiday Treats while thinking about the grueling training months ahead, just around the corner.