One of the things I had been planning to do not long after I bought my bike was to ride in this year’s Trail Trek. I kept adding distances to my long rides in order to prepare because Ross had talked me into doing the 25 mile course vs. the 10 mile one. I’m happy that we went that route in the end because I don’t think the 10 would have been very challenging and the whole point was to see how far I could push myself. We had two other teammates, Kirk and Brock.

We all agreed to meet on the UNL campus near the Union at 8:30 and then bike over to Oak Lake as a team. Kirk and I both rode our bikes in from our respective homes while Ross and Brock drove down and parked. It was a nice little ride out the Oak Lake and there were a ton of people there. At the end they said they had over 900 registered riders this year.

We waited around at the lake until the start time of 9:00 AM, they were making various announcements but it was basically impossible to hear what he was saying from where we were standing. We also ended up starting near the back of the mass of bikers and it took a bit of time to get through the first intersection and actually out onto the trail. Part way in we took a detour and passed a large group of them in order to get going faster.

It was nice to get out and ride on some of the trails I hadn’t had a chance to get to yet. We basically did a loop of west Lincoln, heading way out south to almost Yankee Hill Road and then back into town, up to East Campus and then back to Oak Lake.

The weather was great for this time of year. It was overcast and generally the wind wasn’t too bad, just in spots it would become a little more difficult to ride. My one big mistake was forgetting to put on sunscreen before leaving the house but I was also fooled by the overcast skies. Regardless of the clouds, I still got a nice sunburn on my arms. It was a little bit humid though near the end of the ride.

In totally, counting my commute time, I went 34.5 miles today on my bike. This brings my grand total up to 400 miles since I bought it. I’m really proud of not only setting a goal but achieving it. Feels great to know that with a bit of effort, anything is possible!

When we got back to Oak Lake, there was food and beverages, which was nice. I tried a sparking orange juicy juice that wasn’t too bad but not something I would probably have gone for if I wasn’t so worn out from riding. They also had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some kind of bbq sandwiches, chips and cookies. Along the route, there were watering stations setup that had fruit and one stand had bagels. I ended up grabbing a banana mid-ride and then for lunch I ended up going with PBJ and a cookie. It felt good to eat and to stop peddling for awhile.

Also during the ride they had a scavenger hunt competition where you had to find landmarks and stamp a card. We decided to do this because it added a little fun to the journey but we ended up missing one of the landmarks and were unable to win because other teams had found them all. They did drawings for new Trek bikes but no one on our team won one.

I’m just really happy to end my biking, for the time being, on such a high note. I love that feeling I get after I know I’ve done a good workout, it’s probably the one thing I miss about not going to the gym. I used to love that post gym drive home because I was a mix of tired and happy. It’s a wonderful feeling.

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