I feel fantastic.

I haven’t cracked Goblet of Fire yet today…I made a deal with myself yesterday that if I’m going to commit so much time to sitting around reading, I have to do some significant exercise beforehand. (This seems a little weird, because since I’ve been unemployed I’ve been spending my whole day sitting around and reading. But eh.)

I got up at 8:40, made Sean’s lunch, made the bed, and took Goblet of Fire out to the couch. I almost started reading right away, but the determination was in me. I was going to go biking again, no matter what.

The weather looked good; I checked online and it predicted light rain early, and thunderstorms later. I puttered around online, reading news and webcomics, and then got dressed to go.

Today I wore bicycle shorts and my small “flirt” baby tee with barely any sleeves–my goal was to avoid overheating like yesterday, when I wore a larger shirt and long pants. I also nixed the backpack, opting instead to leave my huge bottle of water in the car and just carry my camerabag with me.

As I was driving up River Watch Parkway to the Greeneway, it suddenly started raining. Hard. I had to roll my window up to keep from getting pelted in the face, and put my windshield wipers on their highest setting. It was starting to look as if I wouldn’t get to ride at all, due to Tropical Depression Dennis.

“Maybe I should take weather events more seriously,” I mused aloud. But I decided to plunge ahead. I’d go to the Greeneway, and if it was still raining hard I’d wait a little while for it to die down. And I’d go to the Activities Center to park this time instead of the golf course, so I could hopefully make it to the end of the trail.

Thus decided, I continued on. Somewhere downtown, the rain started to fizzle. As I dropped into the turn lane for 13th Street, I found myself automatically moving for the right hand turn lane, which would put me on the right side of the street to turn towards the golf course. As I drove up 13th Street, I contemplated changing my plans, but my inner debate seemed to be moot as my body was driving me to the golf course regardless.

I got there and the drizzling rain had segued to sprinkles. Rolling down my window, I took a couple of pictures of the weather conditions…

lovely weather we're having

…then decided to go for it. I was a little concerned about bringing my camera, due to the possibility that it might start raining again, but looking up I saw that the clouds were all heading east of the Savannah, which fit what I understood of Dennis’ path, so I concluded that it would probably be safe. (My obsessive compulsive need to have my camera with me wherever I go did not factor in whatsoever, obviously…) As a slight measure of protection, I wore the camera bag looped over my front so I would be leaning over it as I rode; usually I sling it over my back.

As I went along, riding no-handed whenever I could, the dripping rain slowed and finally ended. I was able to take lots of pictures, which of course made me ecstatic. For awhile, the trees would still drop water on me, so I carefully covered the lens whenever I had my camera out. I also had to watch out when I rode through the gargantuan puddles that had appeared everywhere.

Here’s one of the first pictures I was able to take, of that “jungle” I mentioned yesterday.

But it wasn’t long before things had dried out. By the time I made it up to the other end of the Greeneway, it was just a nice day out. Here’s my triumphant visage upon arrival:

If my face looks pink, that’s because it is. Not from sunburn, I don’t think; just from exertion. I was covered in sweat for pretty much the whole ride.

Heading back, I didn’t stop as much (I typically don’t) but I did take some pictures while riding. When I took a break at the Activities Center for some water, I realized that it was hot. The cooling effect of the rain had almost completely dissipated, as had most of the water on the ground; only the larger puddles remained. I drank quickly, eager to get back under the trees, and patted myself on the back for picking such a good riding time. If I’d come later, I would have been caught in the sweltering heat.

Going through the forest after Hammond’s Ferry Road, I heard lots of what I assume were cicadas, just singing away. It was kind of pretty, so I took a movie. If I can think of a good way to post it without destroying my bandwidth, I will. (Unfortunately, smugmug will only host mpegs, and it’s a mov.)

I got back to the stretch of trail along the river, and decided to take some nice river photos. Luckily, I came across two guys in a john boat, fishing.

A little bit after I took this picture, the shirtless man noticed me and my camera and called, “Oh, don’t take a picture of us! We’re supposed to be working!” But hey, it’s not like you can tell who they are, right? :>

A few nice shots of the trail and the houses across the river later, and I was back to the golf course. Rather than going straight to my car, I decided to ride up alongside the course and see if they had any flowering plants; the time in the sun would hopefully dry the back of my shirt some, which was damp from rain and puddle splashes.

Very happily, I came across some lovely flowers.

Finally, after a fantastic ride, I loaded my bike back onto the car. Amused by the fact that my car was now completely dry, I took an “after” shot to go with the “before” shot I’d taken when I’d arrived. Then I looked at the sky. Dark grey clouds were rolling in.

I’d just gotten myself cleaned off (I keep some paper towels in the car, fortunately) and settled in for the ride home when it started raining again. “Good timing!” I congratulated myself. And then I headed home :)

Now, I’ve just finished off a California Cobb salad from McDonald’s and a Low-Fat Berry Berry Smoothie from R. Gabriel’s. I’m showered up and well-fed and comfortable, and I’m filled with that happy exhaustion that comes after a good ride.

I am so happy that I was able to ride the whole length of the Greeneway. The heat definitely seems to be a factor. I will need to invest in some skimpier riding clothes ;>

An hour fifteen minutes at approximately 10 mph. DietPower calls that “leisurely”; I call it “not bad at all!”

And now, finally, it’s time to get back to reading.