Thank goodness Austin has the Veloway, a 3-mile loop for riding bikes and roller skating. I stop there after work, with my mountain bike.
For my first time, I remember to bring everything I need: bike, helmet, fanny pack, water, sunglasses, and off I go. Not bad, not bad; it’s certainly cooler to ride than it is to jog, so that’s a plus. I experiment with changing the gears; much easier than on my 10-speed from 30 years ago.
One sign on the loop really gets my attention: “Caution: Snake Crossing”. I don’t see any, but I make sure not to slow down in that area. I saw a roadrunner a bit farther down and wondered if he hung around the sign, taking care of any snakes that tried to cross.
I see the sign for the incline. I look behind me to see if anyone is around that can see me. It’s all clear, so I make my run for it. I manage to reach the top without stopping and getting off my bike, but it wasn’t easy. The second time around, I wasn’t as successful. I was using different gears, still trying to figure them out and couldn’t adjust them properly in time. I had to walk up part of the small incline.
Other bikers are starting to pass me. One man rides past, without using his hands. And he’s not the only one experienced enough to do that. One woman rides by, and I swear she’s knitting, or maybe crocheting. I consider increasing my speed to try to catch up to her, maybe reach out for her yarn to unravel it, but it turns out I am already at my top speed and she is out of sight even as I think this.
Two laps is enough for me on my first visit. I check my time and notice that my biking speed is slower than the top runners for 5K’s and the like. Oh well, we can’t all be Lance.