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It had been awhile since I had a nice bike ride, so today I decided I would go on one. It had to be quick, because I needed to have time to shower and get over to Surrey Center to meet Brooke at 2 pm. So I set out on my ride at the absolutely stupidest time for outdoor activity: 12 noon.

I intended to just cruise through the neighborhoods on West Wheeler; that would keep me close to home and wouldn’t be overdoing it. However, once I got on the road, I found myself going up West Wheeler (literally–it’s a hill) to Wheeler Road.

“Let’s see how it would be to bike to the Y,” I said to myself, and so I turned right onto Wheeler.

For a good part of the way I was coasting, which is always a bad sign–it means I’ll be going uphill on the return trip. A hill began again towards the I-520 bridge–there’s a sign there that says “WATCH FOR BICYCLES ON BRIDGE”, which made me feel vindicated. Once over the hill I coasted again down to the Y, turning right onto Marks Church Road and then stopping in the grass at the entrance to the parking lot. The ride from my apartment had taken about 10 minutes, which I decided wasn’t bad at all.

However, I really need to get a new backpack. I’d put my phone and keys into the Connor and Logan totebag Mom gave me and hung the tote from the handlebars. The last hill coast sent the tote bag into the front wheel, covering it with grease and grinding a hole into it. So yeah. A backpack (or a bike bag) would be good.

I slung the tote bag over my right shoulder and crossed back over Mark’s Church Road so I could turn left on Wheeler at the light and head back to the apartment. The turn went fine (people across the way yielded for me!) and soon I was off up the bridge hill, then coasting briefly, and finally churning my way up the last big hill.

But about midway up I couldn’t pedal anymore. I slid off the bike and began walking it in the grass.

But then I started to feel terrible, like I was about to throw up, and I couldn’t stop panting. I didn’t want to stop moving, because the best exercise keeps your heart rate up, but after awhile I knew I had to. I rested the bike on its kickstand and stood for awhile.

Then I gave in and sat in the grass.

I took off my helmet and sat for what seemed like a long time, just focusing on relaxing and breathing. It seemed that traffic slowed down to look curiously in my direction, and I thought maybe I should come out here every day, to keep traffic at a decent rate on this road.

After awhile I felt reasonably better, so I stood back up. My legs felt like jelly, and a little lightheadedness gave me concern. I decided to keep going, though, so I could get home to the air conditioning, and get some water.

Because, like a moron, I didn’t bring any with me. I would have, if I’d planned from the beginning to go to the Y. But I had to go and be spontaneous. Note to self: always bring water, even if you’re not planning on a long ride, because knowing you, you’ll turn it into one.

I walked the rest of the way up the hill to the light. There isn’t a cross street there; it’s just a left turn, so I waited at the entrance to a parking lot for traffic to clear so I could cross the street to the left turn lane. This accomplished, I turned on the green and coasted back down the West Wheeler hill to Sanctuary.

Sanctuary!

I left everything in the middle of the floor–bike, helmet, tote bag–and collapsed in the office for a few minutes. Then I grabbed a bottle of water, which I have almost emptied.

It was a good ride. I didn’t realize it had been that long, though. I will need to start biking more frequently.

It looks like a bike ride to the Y on the weekend isn’t out of the question, as long as I go earlier or later in the day and bring water. Next time I will see about actually going in to the Y and maybe swimming or something. (I meant to check and see if there was a good place to tie up my bike, but by the time I was there I was ready to turn around, so I forgot.)