One thing I love about bike riding, even locally (i.e. not on a trail you must drive to visit, not biking across a state or the country, etc) is the selection of environments.  Here in Ottawa, Kansas, I’m blessed with a variety of terrain and conditions.  There are long flat stretches; stretches of rolling hills; stretches of harder rolling hills; biking-around-town routes; there are paved routes, crushed limestone routes, more mountain-bikey dirt/grass routes; there are routes to enjoy plants and nature, routes to be around people, routes to get alone and think in quiet, etc.

Earlier this week I discovered an area on the outskirts of town I hadn’t previously known about.  I don’t venture around much by car, and since it’s been winter for most of my serious interest in cycling, temperature and daylight are factors that limit how far away I can roam and how much new stomping grounds I can find by bike.  Now with warmer weather, and longer daylight, I’ve been able to greatly expand my possible ride routes.

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I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.

Abraham Lincoln

Weather has been unseasonably nice in Kansas City the last few days.  Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, I had come down with a cold+ear infection combo which laid me low for over a week during this time, keeping me off the bike.  But, knock on wood, I am gradually coming back to 100% from that and have eagerly returned to riding.  

A second, welcome factor is the recent time change, which basically has given an “extra” hour of daylight at the end of the day, which can be conveniently utilized for cycling. 

As a result of these favorable conditions, I’ve logged 64 miles in the past 5 days.

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Been light on updates lately.  A combination of work, uncooperative weather, and a brutal cold/ear infection has kept my riding time very limited the last couple weeks.  But, I’m still around and still focused on the big goals  🙂

Yesterday I got in a good 18.2 mile ride south on Highway 59, my favorite local route.

I’ll blog a little more later about this ride – because it marked an evolution in “the strategy” – but for now, suffice for some “images from the road” along with my attempt at artistic expression of the range of feelings created by bicycling.

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