You know you like bike riding when you are willing to give up the comfort of your bed early on a Saturday morning to go for a hot, muggy spin. And so I did. I drove to Croom Maryland for the 64-mile Rural Legacy Ride put on by the Oxon Hill Bicycle Club. Having already done one of their rides, I knew it would be well organized with a reasonably challenging and pretty route. I was not disappointed.
The ride meandered along the Patuxent River which separates Price Georges County from Calvert County in Maryland. We were about 20 miles from the Capitol but the concerns of policy wonks were 1,000 miles away. The backroads had little auto traffic – other than cyclists driving to and from the start. When we weren’t riding under a green canopy of leaves we were cruising past farm fields. I took several shots with my little camera but, frankly, I was too busy spinning my legs and enjoying the sounds of birds chirping, leaves rustling and creeks warbling. At one point the route took us past an alpaca ranch. I’d have stopped and taken a picture but it was on a downhill and, well, when you’ve seen one alpaca you’ve seen them all.
A nice bonus to this ride is the fact that the troublesome nerves in my left knee and foot decided to take the day off. I thought about this as I rode. I noticed that instead of pedaling in smooth cycles with my foot flat at the bottom of the pedal stroke – like so many of the rides who passed me – I was pointing my foot down and stabbing at the pedals. Last year I nudged my saddles forward to keep from stressing the saddle rails (which I have a habit of breaking). I think this puts my hips a little too far forward. So today I’m sliding them back. Saddles are much cheaper than orthopedic surgeons.