There was no bike rally today, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean I had to stay off the bike. I ran 17.5 miles during the week (6.6 Monday, 6.6 Wednesday, and 4.3 yesterday) and needed to work my cycling legs for a change. Two of my home boys (Randy and Bryce) met me at a small restaurant on the west side of Mineral Wells, where we rode a familiar course. The countryside in the Mineral Wells area is beautiful, and there’s little traffic on most of the roads we use. It was a bright, sunny day, with a stiff southerly wind. Randy and I disagreed about how humid it was, with him saying it wasn’t as humid as a week ago and me denying it (for the sake of argument). Bryce must think we’re crazy, the way we tease, taunt, and torment each other. But think about it: What would life be like without good-natured ribbing?

We stopped twice, once in the middle of nowhere (near an historical marker about an early settler who moved from Michigan to Texas) and once at a rustic country store with a wooden porch and a cow across the road. Everyone was nice to us, including the motorcyclists who pulled in for refreshments. Afterward, we ate lunch at the restaurant whose parking lot we used. Our average speed for 47.1 miles of riding was only 16.13 miles per hour, but our goal wasn’t to hammer. It was to have fun, and fun we had. Even climbing Cherry Pie Hill (a five-percent grade for 1.3 miles) wasn’t bad. I got my heart rate to 160 on the climb. Tomorrow I take a well-deserved break.