I have no idea why I never did this before. I think my riding over the past year has become more and more utilitarian with longer and longer gaps between recreational rides. I've made a real effort to ride as many days as my schedule will allow, with the belief that regular 15 to 25 mile rides will get me in better shape than less frequent 30 to 40 mile rides. I don't know if this notion is true, but anecdotally I think I can tell a difference (of course I really haven't defined what "better shape" is, so who knows). Riding singletrack every morning and evening, however, has brought the joy of riding back front and center. I had so much fun last week that I've continued this week despite working overnight. Here is how the trails looked at 8 pm on the way to work:
Here is a shot of the 4:30 am Spokane sunrise in May--something I enjoy almost as much as the exploding, native Balsamroot that is all over right now.
Staying up all night is good mental training for the Midnight Century, which I've convinced at least one friend to undertake with me this year.
A week ago I actually took a recreational ride and finally found the trail along the Spokane river between the cemetery on Government Way and the T.J. Meenach bridge. It had nearly reached "legendary" status in my mind since I had heard whisperings of its existence for years, but never had the fortitude to actually find it. I just happened to pass some bikers who boldly passed a "No Trespassing" sign just off the road, seconds after I paid heed to the same sign and stayed on the pavement. I reluctantly followed as I tend to respect such signs, and finally discovered the thread-like shoreline trail. I can't claim it was the most fun singletrack in the area, but it does get you from downtown to Riverside in a more interesting way. I doubt I'll ride it very often, but it's nice to know it's there. And I can't believe how many times I passed it's northern terminus without even thinking,"gee, what's over here?"