Great Western Trail

On my planned day off the bike what did I do? Tara convinced me to go on a ride with her. So I loaded up the Specialized Allez road bike in the back of the Element and drove over to Martensdale to park at the Great Western Trail trailhead.


I was hoping the road bike would punish me less and allow me to ride in zones 1/2 the entire way. Little did I know Tara was going to push me to ride 40 miles!!!

We ride the Great Western Trail a few times a year and always enjoy the scenic view. Yesterday was no exception with clear blue skies and temps in the mid 80's. The GWT itself is 16.5 miles long from Martensdale into Des Moines. We warmed up within the first 20 minutes and went flying past Cumming and right on into Des Moines for the first 50 minutes.


We stopped to fill water bottles and get a snack at the Casey's in Des Moines before turning onto the Bill Riley trail to head over to Gray's Lake. At this point, I didn't know how long we were going to be out and where we were going. I had my eye on the watch knowing I had ribs to finish smoking back home and I wanted to know if I needed to fuel more since my body would probably be on fumes at anything over 2+ hours.

After a spin around Gray's Lake, I convinced Tara we should turn back towards Martensdale (using the ribs as my excuse). So we turned around and headed back south. I called Zack at 4:30 and had him put the ribs back on at 225 degrees so they would finish their low and slow cook. That allowed me to relax and lean into the headwinds where I could spin out the high end of zone 2 tempo to crawl the 18 miles south. I was on fumes the last few miles feeling a possible end of the weekend riding mini-bonk, but hunger encouraged me to ride the final 2 miles full out just to end the duration and get ready for the feast of ribs about to occur.

When all was said and done, we were on the bikes for 3:15 - the longest I've been on a bike since the crash. The skinny road tires allowed me to ride the duration on my "day off" and not get too drained from a 3 day weekend of riding that totaled 8:15 on the bike for me. Needless to say - today (Tuesday) will be a day off the bike for me.

The ribs were great, the grilled corn was good as usual and I was asleep by 10 pm thanks to the ride, sun and fresh air.

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