Social distancing ride on my old bike commute route.

Lonnie at a church near Leary, GA
Lonnie at a church near Leary, GA

Today I was awakened by my alarm on my phone at 4:30 AM. I forgot to turn this alarm off after using it last week to get me up so that I could be the first in line to get my Dodge diesel truck’s oil changed in Tallahassee. Once I was up, my bike commuter instincts came rushing back into my head. I decided to go for a bike ride.

I like riding in the dark which may be the result of bike commuting at every job that I have worked at in my life. I rode my bike to work regularly in California, Oregon, Texas, and Georgia over a span of 50 years. One of the things that I look forward to on a bike commute is the changing seasons and the sunrises and sunsets.

One of the aspects of bike commuting that has really affected my cycling is riding by myself a lot. When you are bike commuting, well you are going to work and then going home. You are not meeting up with a group on a weekend to go cycling. Bike commuting is very utilitarian, you ride to work and from work so that there is one less car on the road and you get the benefits of riding a bike. I have always enjoyed riding alone far more than riding in a group. I feel right at home doing a social distancing cycling event on my own.

Today I decided to take a route that I rode in the dark a lot while working at ASU. I have not been on my bike in full darkness in a while, so I wanted to pick a route that I knew pretty well for this outing. The route is a 50-mile bike commute that was one of my favorites. The route starts in a direction away from my final destination which is cool. I ride to the town of Leary on Gillionville Road and loop though Leary and take Leary Road into downtown Albany and the ASU East Campus.

One of the aspects of this route that I like is that the first leg of the ride is a gradual climb up Gillionville Road to the intersection with GA HWY 55. At HWY 55 I turn south to go to Leary. This intersection is 15.2 miles from my house. When I was bike commuting on this route I would try to get to this intersection in one hour or less. In order to do that I would have to average over 15 miles per hour. When I was riding a lot I had no problem making this goal, but now that I have not been riding as much so when I make it there close to one hour I am happy. today I made it in one hour and eight seconds.

Having a gradual climb at the start of a morning ride allows my body to warm up and get ready for the rest of the ride. This morning was really nice as I was listening to all of the birds as they were waking up and singing. I also enjoyed listening to all of the quail that were joining in the birds’ serenade just for me.

I got home just in time to beat the rain and now we are under a tornado watch. I am looking forward to doing this ride in the dark again.

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