Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015

Start of Ride on East State Street Athens.
The word has been put out and the preparation is done. Today I ride to raise money for the Birth Circle pregnancy loss resource fund. It is 25 degrees, with snow on the ground;  not exactly what I had in mind when I planned this event but not surprising for January in the midwest. I had planned to ride on the main roads but they are too slippery for cars or bikes so I will make my trip on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway path that winds alongside the Hocking river from Athens to Nelsonville. My goal was to ride 40 miles today. Under conditions that I have not rode in before I will see how it goes. A little snow can make a lot of resistance. There have already been pledges made towards my effort. - thank you for your support of this venture.

I made a stop at the Pregnancy Loss Memorial at Sells Park. This bench was created by Matt Cooke of Stalwart Construction to provide a quiet spot for visitors to the park entrance. We held a memorial gathering for Jesse at this site in 2011.

The ride continued through snow and wind out of Athens.  A stop at the Eclipse company town in the Plains was needed to rest and rewarm. After continuing,  it was very slow going on the way to Nelsonville. One or two walkers were all that I passed as I pushed through the deepening snow and crusted slush from the day before.
The drag on the bike felt a lot like when I would pull the kids behind me in their little buggy on this same path. Maybe our little angel was hitching a ride with me today. 

The Road Behind

The Road Ahead

Mile 19 - Robbins Crossing. Nearly halfway to 40. This is the environmental education intepretive center of Hocking College, I made an extended lunch stop, but the wind and chill shortened the stay. After breaking loose a real wheel and chain frozen with snow, I turned back towards Athens, with a slight tailwind and downhill grade to assist. 

Not long after getting back onto the bike path, two things forced a decision to shorten the ride. The trip to Robbins Crossing had taxed my energy in the snow - my pace was half of what it should have been but the effort was the same to get the first 19 miles in. The second issue was that the snow was becoming soft, and was building up as slush between my fender and wheels, acting like a brake on the tire. Obviously this was going to slow my 
 progress and increase the effort more make the full ride. It was time to call it a day. 

 The total distance was 29 miles in 5.5 hours. I am happy to have been able to work for the families of pregnancy loss now and in the future will need support to aid them in their own journey of adversity and unknowns. 


An unsightly but introspective bit of graffiti on a fence along the bike path caught my attention as well: 

The Brave Don't Live Forever, But The Cautious Don't Live At All

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