Riding on Bikes with Boys

This weekend I went on another epic bike ride with my friends E (who went last time) and C. We decided to cover another part of the big loop of country roads, venturing out into some new territory.

It was another beautiful Sunday morning: the sky was a perfect deep blue with only a few clouds here and there, the sun was hot but not terribly so, and the humidity was bearable. That’s about the best situation one can hope for around here until it finally starts to cool off sometime in November. (I kid.) (Kind of.)

We took turns leading the group as we rolled out into the county, spotting horses, farms, abandoned gas stations, dead armadillos and squirrels, buzzards, and silos. Just getting out of town and riding down these long, narrow roads among tall evergreens is an instant pleasure. One stretch of road looked exactly like Oregon to me, with the exception of the long-needled pines (native here) in place of the shorter-needled firs (native there).

Up and down the many, many hills we went, our legs and butts (and small chain rings) getting a full workout. I enjoy about half of all hills. The downhill half! Hyuk, hyuk. But seriously, it was a really fun and challenging ride. We covered about 25 miles, not counting the miles between our homes and our on-campus starting point. I think my total for the day was about 28 miles — my longest ride to date!

My friend E is pretty experienced at long-distance cycling, and my friend C has actually done Ragbrai in the past, so I was happy just to keep up with the boys, passing them when I needed to and leading the line when it was my turn. Fun times!

As we neared home, we wound up on a stretch of road none of us had ever ridden before and what did we see but a road block — a bridge was out. Well, scheisse. We were out in the middle of the county with, yes, a map to follow should we need to find an alternate route, but also with three pretty tired sets of legs. No one wanted to have to backtrack or re-route. So we eased behind the roadblock and found a long stretch of dirt road. It looked like we could make it through.

[255/365] Um, Oops! Bridge Out!

At the spot where the bridge should be, we came upon all of the construction equipment and supplies (no one was working the site on a Sunday) and found the little makeshift bridge that was probably in use by the crews. It was narrow and tilted wildly to one side, but we managed to walk our bikes across and then lift them down the other side, where we were finally able to re-join the road.

C and E, Makeshift Bridge Crossing

Just a little bonus adventure!

In other, off-topic news: um, so, one of these guys? Actually my ex-guy-friend. I guess we are “friends” now? Or, friendly? Friendly-ish? I’m not sure how this is going to work out in the long run, but I think it would be nice to at least be able to do things like this on a friendly level together, especially since we work together, we share the same mutual friends, and we are two of only three bicycling people I happen to know in town.

What do you think? Can you be friends, or at least friendly, with your ex? HALP.


  1. You are SO making me want to get the bike, but I soon have to pay the state of crooked letter a shitload (we’ll talk), so…
    I LOVE the blocked road picture. It’s like a personal challenge, and YOU. SHALL. PREVAIL.
    Word on the ex-beau: I think you may be a stronger woman than me, but then, you’ve seen a couple of my ridiculous break-ups, so you be the judge. BUT…I side with Ruby on this. If you can do it, then do it. And if it’s not painful or awkward (well, who are we kidding? There will be Awkward.)…but otherwise, do what works, sister. And I wish you the best. (And look forward to hearing all about it, here or otherwise.)
    Oh, this is probably already an obnoxious comment, but I miss you and I miss Ruby and…and…I look forward to a future blog post when we’re all in NoLa hamming it up together.


  2. R – Yeah, I’m not sure if both of those are possible, but I guess it is worth it to try.

    C – You should totally get a bike! That would be super fun! And no doubt we will have to have a get together sometime soon.


  3. Probably you should find a position at UF, because I know tons of cyclists around here …

    Ok, so I think you need to be really careful with the friend/friend-ly thing. A hundred years ago, my ex and I thought, hey, we’re totally friends now! But, as soon as we started spending time together at all (on a totally friendly level), I remembered all the reasons we weren’t together and he remembered all the reasons we once WERE, and I think it hurt him pretty badly, which was TOTALLY unintentional on my part.

    And that bridge post is awesome. Almost makes me want to ride a bike. Not quite, but almost.


  4. This might be weird, but one of my closest friends is my ex. We hang out all the time, though there were a few months after we first stopped dating when I didn’t see him that much. But we get along so well that it would suck if our friendship died when our relationship did. Plus, we like a lot of the same music, so he’s my most consistent concert buddy. He’s basically the reason I’m not a hermit.


  5. Kristen – That is kinda what I am worried about, except in our case it would be me remembering why we had gotten together, I think. Ugh. I have to tread carefully with this one. And re biking, the more I do it the more confident I am feeling! It just takes time.

    Katie – Thanks for sharing — that is an encouraging story. I’m hoping that since this guy and I never got the chance to get too serious, we can transition. I’m moving with extreme caution for now though.


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