I decided to treat my fat thighs to a ride down the Rock Island Trail on this perfect spring day. The ride north is usually about an hour long 16ish mile ride while the southern route is about 30 minutes and 8ish miles. As out of shape as I am I figured the shorter route would come short of causing heart failure while the longer would assuredly send me to an early grave.
This couldn't be a better day for trail riding: breezy and about 75°.
One of the first times I road the trail I was amazed at the amount of wild life and beautiful greenery. The ride was so peaceful with only the chirping of the birds and croaking of the frogs mixed in the with the occasional whiff of manure. I once ran over a snake before I realized it wasn't a stick in the middle of the trail! Now that wasn't terribly relaxing. I fully expected this jaunt to be like all my other trips down the trail.
Boy was I in for a surprise.
A couple years ago a small, very upscale (think $800K houses) neighborhood was developed just south of the Village. There was also a very large, similarly upscale neighborhood at the end of the trail and the edge of "Town".
Today there were, not one, not two, but three new subdivisions well under way between here and "Town". THREE! With people already living in some of the homes! I tell ya. Suburbia is knocking at my door.
When we bought this house 6 miles out of "Town" in this small Village I thought I was WAAAAAAAAY out of town. Little did I know "Town" was going to meet me sooner rather than later.
I felt cheated. I expected this long peaceful ride alone with my thoughts (no, not porn; ok maybe porn) but no, I was treated to hammering, sawing, and beeping of heavy equipment. The smell of manure, while still there was mixed with the smell of paint and freshly cut lumber. What a letdown.
And the worst part? Soon all these new homeowners will be jamming the trail with their bodies, bikes, and strollers. Sigh. I'll have to give up the short trek and stick to the long ride. I rarely encounter more than a handful of people on the long ride while the short one is littered with obstacles - just today this guy was loitering on a bridge over a creek yapping on his cell phone STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BRIDGE WHILE I WAS RIDING AT HIM FULL SPEED and he only barely managed to give me enough room to pass before I plowed his ass over.
How bad of shape am I in? Well, the short ride USED to take me about 30 minutes out and back. Today it took me a glorious 47 minutes. I guess I was taking it a little too leisurely even though my heart rate was well into the 80% range. D'oh!