Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Which is the bread, which is the butter?

A busy last few days of running and biking. On Saturday, met up with the usual Saturday Morning Trail Run down at Valley Green. Some guys were running the four corners; I wasn't up for all four, but did join them for two.

Sunday, I got out on the bike, and did the most recent version of the bread and butter loop. It wound up around 75 miles.

Then Monday, the Third Annual Green Ribbon Trail run – the fourth-of-July tradition of running someplace that isn't the Wissahickon, with the guys that I usually run in the Wissahickon with.

And I realized, a few things have changed in the last year or so. To start, a few things have happened to the bread and butter loop over the last year or so.

The bread and butter ride is the one that I developed, bit by bit, when we were still living in C-Hill. It was a 65 mile route that included a 35-mile out and back, which was ok, and a 30 mile loop, which was pretty awesome. No surprise: I called it my bread-and-butter because I would do it so often. Sometimes it seemed like I rode it most weekends, at least when the weather permitted. One winter, the weather permitted pretty much through December. That was fun.

Moving to Mt. Airy meant that the route got longer. This alone would have knocked it up to around 70 miles.

I added on a few more miles above that, because I found a nicer way to start the route. It's now closer to a loop; there's only around 5 miles that I do both ways (and even that's avoidable, if I want to do a few miles on route 113). And the additions are nice; more woods, less traffic, and a section that goes through Evansburg State Park. There's also a section on this odd trail that goes under the powerlines.

But the biggest change to the bread-and-butter route? I just don't do it that much anymore.
This was only the second or third time I've done the whole thing since the start of spring. It's hard for me to get out on my bike as much as I'd like. The little jump in mileage, from 65 to 75, doesn't help; but mostly, I think it's my shift in focus. I'm running more, I'm biking less. I'm ok with that. It's just so much easier to lace up the running shoes and head out. I can run in the 'hood, I can head down into the woods. I can run by myself, with Helen, with other wanderers... For a bike ride, there's just so much more planning involved, and so many more limitations. So many roads that are un-fun to ride on. And I like riding on the path, but it gets old.

Meanwhile, the 12-mile run on Saturday – that felt pretty easy. Familiar paths, familiar faces. It felt more familiar than anything I've been doing on the bike lately.

That said, the ride on Sunday was a lot of fun. Especially the part going through the woods out by Swamp Creek, alone on the road, with the sun shining through the trees. That was pretty awesome. It usually is.

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