Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Gimps on bicycles
Yesterday I went on my longest ride since I had my surgery on my Achilles tendon. I had surgery August 28, 2008, and just got off crutches a week ago. Since then, I've gone on about 5 bike rides on my commuter bike around the city. I've put a flat pedal on the left, and kept my Egg Beater pedal on the right, so I have some sort of power, however little, when I ride. I have to get up hills somehow, I live in SLC .
So I hit up my friend and fellow gimp, Victoria to ride with me. She just had neck surgery 3 weeks ago. She was supposed to wear her neck brace, so we could really look like fools. I in my boot and her in her brace. She conveniently "forgot".
So I jumped on my road bike (first time on the road bike since surgery) and met up with Victoria at her place and headed for the Great Salt Air, one of the few flat rides around these parts. The ride is roughly a 45 to 50 mile round trip ride. We agreed before hand, as we are both gimps, that we would go as far as we could and not be ashamed to turn around if we were hurting.
Turns out hurting wasn't the problem. Daylight and airport security gates getting locked at 7 pm were our concerns. We had to turn around about 3/4 of the way there due to the aforementioned concerns. It was a beautiful warm fall evening. A perfect evening for a ride.
We passed only 2 riders total out there last night, and set a record for number of gnats swallowed in a single ride. It was dusk as we turned around, so we tried to hurry back as I didn't have any lights with me. (Fortunately Victoria brought hers.) We got back to the bike path and made it through the first security gate. By the time we got to the next security gate, they were locked.
Let me digress for a moment. There is a bike path that goes right by the Salt Lake International Airport. In fact it's so close, you're riding between runway lights on part of the path. Planes come in over your head only about 50 feet above you or so. It's so fun to get off the bike, lay on your back, and watch the planes fly overhead so close you feel you can touch them. So you are riding in a "secured" area. I guess they don't think cyclists are going to be carrying bazookas to blow planes up with. There are 5 gates you have to go through along this path. Then you're back out on the main roads again.
So back to where I left off... Victoria and I made it through the first gate, and got to the 2nd one, and it was locked. We lucked out big time. We were in one of 2 areas that we could get out of the secured area not using the gates. Where we happened to be was right next to the on ramp to I-80 leaving the airport.
Victoria the gimp and Stacy the gimp did what we had to do, we hopped the concrete barrier and rode onto the on ramp with all the traffic in the dark and merged, narrowly avoiding getting hit. We immediately got off the North Temple exit and continued on our merry way home in the dark.
By the time we both got home, we had probably ridden about 30 miles total. Not bad for 2 people that just recently had surgeries! We're going to try the same ride again this week, but leave earlier so we have enough daylight to get to the Great Salt Air and back. Oh, and so we can avoid being stuck in airport secured areas after the gates lock.