Saturday in Colorado we were treated to temperatures in the lower 80′s, our first taste of summer. I figured if I didn’t get outside and take advantage of it I would regret it, so I donned my cycling kit and was out the door. Usually when I go for a bike ride I have a specific route in mind, but this time all I knew is what roads I wanted to ride. Near my place there is a neighborhood of urban ranches, with a network of roads that run through the rolling hills that the homes occupy. The roads are pretty meandering and don’t really lead anywhere unless you know where you’re going, so they are pretty low traffic. Some of the climbs through these hills are somewhat steep, but short. It’s like a playground for a road cyclist. I decided to take full advantage of the hills and made it a mission to choose the roads that climbed all of them, even if it meant turning around at the top and heading back down for more.
I don’t know whether it was the weather or the route, but this ended up being one of the most enjoyable rides I have been on. It felt great to get my heart racing as I powered up the short climbs, and even better to cut through the wind on descents. Turning onto unfamiliar roads just because there was a hill to climb was satisfying, like I was looking for and meeting the challenges head on. The mix of being up out of the saddle for steep portions and pulling away in the saddle made it a great workout, but not overwhelming. At the end of the ride I realized I hadn’t really gone anywhere, but I had had a whole lot of fun! My own grown-up playground, right outside my door!