Good exercise or comedy of errors?

So awhile ago I bought a bike so I could start riding again.  Hadn’t really been riding since I was a teenager so it was an experience. Being that I live on dirt roads it has been about a year and a half and I haven’t really gotten myself going yet, but last week got around to actually going riding regularly. Decided this for a few reasons.  First I realized that I am really out of shape. I used to play soccer so I had always considered myself in decent shape and able to run pretty good. The other week I decided to go for a jog and blow off some steam, but after about 2 minutes I was huffing and puffing like mad. Yup, out of shape. The other reason is that I am hoping some good exercise will help me sleep better.

So last night I took my bike over to Apple Valley (now that I have a truck instead of a car it is actually convenient to drive my bike somewhere) and take one of the bike paths. So off I went. Then things started going down hill. Well, actually they started going up hill.  The bike path starts off fine and then very shortly vanishes right as you start going up a real steep part of the road. Not wanting to get hit by a car while wobbling up the hill I decided to get off and walk it up the gravelly side of the road. At least I can coast down on the way back. Get to the top, keep going right?

I get about another 15 minutes and then realize the bike is feeling sluggish.  Flat tire on the back, dang.  No problem, I got all my tools and patch kits.  Since I have so much crap installed around my back tire I decided to just pull it off, except one of the bolts holding it on would not release no matter how much I banged on it. Fine, do it on the bike. All in all I spent about 35 minutes fixing the tire, including doing the patch twice since I didn’t read the instructions the first time. Okay, getting dark but I can get going again, no problem.

Problem, apparently while working on the back tire I somehow jacked up the rear brakes.  One pad was at a funky angle and the corner of it was rubbing against the tire no matter what I did. After fussing with it for about 5 minutes trying to figure out how to get it strait (in the dark) I finally just took off the rear breaks. Thats fine, I can use the front breaks and fix them later.

Finally, I get going again.  At this point I am about an hour into my ride with another 30 minutes to go.  I make it about ten minutes and my headlamp starts going dim. Batteries are dying (Yes I have spares, but at this point I was so annoyed and distracted I forgot about them). I switch the lamp over to “power saver” mode which makes it real dim. Oh did I mention we had a new moon two nights ago?  It’s now rather dark while I am riding down a street I have never ridden down before.

Yea, I made it back to the hill, just a nice down-hill coast and 2 more minutes of riding and I will be back to my truck. Uhh, it’s REAL dark now.. and I’m riding down the gravel on the side of a steep hill.. and I only have front breaks. Thankfully I didn’t eat it, but I sure got close a few times. I’m really looking forward to the days getting longer and brighter. Once I got back to my truck I checked.  I went about 4.3 miles and it took me over an hour and a half. Not a good speed average for my first real trek out.

Definitely, comedy of errors.

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