Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ride to the Green Living & Energy Expo

Me with fellow triathlete, Kimberly. We triathletes like sustainable energy!!
This first week back was focused on keeping my head above water. My sleep schedule was a wreck (ooh, midnight! time to get up!), it was Halloween (thank you ebay seller for the kid's costume ordered October 17 that arrived November 1), and of course we had some rough weather from Frankenstorm Sandy (thankfully no power outages). Plus I was restoring order to the family and getting back into work.

But come Saturday, I was feeling some "adventure withdrawal" made worse by having just watched the Phil Keoghan documentary,  "The Ride," about his bike ride across America for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. (I'd highly recommend it - avail on iTunes)

.....So the Green Living and Energy Expo was Friday and Saturday in Roanoke, Virginia and Solar Connexion was exhibiting. I had the great idea that I should ride my bike the 30+ miles to the Civic Center, help pack up the booth (in my bike shoes, LOL), and bum a ride back to town. So that's what I did, despite quite a bit of anxiety about riding to a place in "the city" with the last bit along a route I was just picking randomly from a map.

I said to the hubs, should I do it? He said yes, so I went for it. It was my first non-loop, non out-and-back ride ever.

I figured I'd ride super carefully and conservatively and go. The first 20 miles are my normal country roads. Then I hit some busier mountain roads, then off into urban neighborhoods I did not know. Really, it generally went fine until the last mile or so where I had little choice but to be amidst the four lane traffic, lights, and turn lanes. Though the ride was "only" 34 miles, I had NO desire to ride back through that traffic and was glad for the ride back. Here's the Garmin map/data.

I'm glad I did this, but I'm sad that there are big public places like this that are so scary to get to by bike. The ride itself was not difficult (only the traffic was), and it took me ONLY twice as long, pedaling easy, to get there by bike as by car. I think it's pretty astounding, really, that a trip that is nearly an hour by car was less than two hours by bike.

It was a cool experience for sure.