Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Little Exploration

This is our fourth Saturday in a row of riding bikes. I believe that this is the most consistent amount of outdoor activity we have done since we were newlyweds.

Today we went back to Hays Nature Preserve, but instead of trying to increase our mileage (like we did last week), we opted to do a little exploring on the horse trails. If you know us very well, you might be aware that Daniel and I have very different ideas of what constitutes a trail.

My idea of a trail is a clearly delineated path that humans and animals use to get to another point. Daniel's idea of a trail is much broader than mine. It could be a drainage ditch; or a hayfield with a swath of grass that is slightly shorter that the grass around it; or a path that he bushwhacks his own way through in an effort to see what there is to see. According to Daniel, his definition of a trail is, "a potential path through which sufficient space exists, or can be made, for me to proceed with no more than a moderate amount of scrapes and bruises."

Today's exploratory ride, more often than not, followed Daniel's idea of a trail more so than my idea of a trail.

The horse trails at Hays Nature Preserve include clearly marked trails, drainage ditches, overgrown sections of what might loosely be considered a path, as well as hayfields. Much of these trails had sections that were incredibly muddy. In addition, several times we found ourselves at the end of a trail and riding out onto the edge of a golf course. If you were golfing today and saw two muddy bikers come out of the woods, that would be us :)

Toward the end of our ride, the mud was getting out of control and the mosquitoes were eating me alive. Daniel had a brief mishap on his bike and I was ready to go. With names like Skip Rock Wilderness and 100 Acre Woods, we weren't entirely sure where we were in relation to our car. We consulted my phone that was mapping our ride and discovered we needed to head in the opposite direction we were riding. We rode until we saw a sign that said EXIT. We weren't sure where we would end up, but I was done with the blood sucking mosquitoes and mud. We came off the trail and onto the golf course. Thankfully we also saw that we were close to the Old Hwy 431 parking lot so we rode through a hayfield and found ourselves on the greenway. I have never been so happy to see pavement! We enjoyed a fast ride back to our car. 

Today's ride was a slow one. We only covered 7.4 miles in just over an hour. But we spent some time exploring so Daniel was a happy camper. And I didn't complain too much (at least not until the end!).

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