When Greg Woods asked me to go on a 50- to 60-mile bike ride with him and Ricky Drawbaugh last week, I paused and thought about it for a few seconds. I really liked biking, I thought, but I hadn’t been on a ride since April. After taking some time away from biking, I was getting used to not having such a sore butt. Plus, I had to work Friday — the day they decided to go touring the county and for some reason wanted my company.
Then, after a short pause, Woods said I could write a story about it. Before he finished his sentence I replied with a “okay.” After all, getting paid to go on a ride and then write about the experience is as close to becoming a professional cyclist as I’m ever going to get. I just couldn’t pass on that opportunity. Like anything else that deals with doing a sport — even an all-day bike ride that I found about just three days prior — it took all of 3.7 seconds to talk me into it.
Now for the hard part: the actual ride. We started at Woods’ house in Campbellsburg, rode to his parents’ house in “six-mile” and back.
I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but I was completely lost for most of the trip. I’ve been working at the Local for more than four years now, I’ve officially lived in Pleasureville for almost a year, and I still don’t know my way around the hills and hollers we call Henry County. I spent as much time scratching my helmet in confusion as I did taking a needed drink of water. I eventually noticed familiar roads — mainly through New Castle and Pleasureville — and finally reached the finish line.
Back in April, I biked to work and home each day for a couple of weeks, but stopped after cars whizzed by me a bit too close for my comfort. I eventually gave up the bike-to-work mentality, so I was a little nervous about last Friday’s ride. As it turned out, though, traffic was great and the cars that did pass did so in a reasonable fashion.
Also, the weather was perfect for a day of riding, it was beautiful scenery the entire time, the rolling hills made the ride challenging and all three of us made it back safely and just a little out of breath.
Although I paid for it when Monday morning rolled around with a heavier workload than normal, it was great to get out of the office and feel the fresh air for a day. Plus, I felt a little like a professional cyclist, which couldn’t have come at a better time since I’ve been religiously watching the Tour de France the last three weeks — my wife is very thankful that it was finally finished this past Sunday.
As for me, there will be more bike rides through Henry County, and maybe a ride to work and back. If anyone else has a idea for another bike trip, just send it my way. Most likely, it will take all of 3.7 seconds for me to agree.
Tommie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.