Cruising By the Milestones

It seems like a week ago that I passed the 6,000 km mark for 2022. Meant to blog about it — I got the final kilometers on a miserable morning that made me feel like a martyr getting kms. Mud-spattered and spitting road grit, I attained the illusory goal.

That was about ten days ago. The thrill last until the next morning when I was back out on the road.

The one notable change in my riding, recently, is that I am now taking out my mountain bike a few times per week. It used to be solely used as my back-up bike when my main, road bike was in the shop. After the last time I did that, I was surprised at how much stronger I felt the next time I mounted the road bike. So, now I alternate regularly. Last time I took the mountain bike out on my 65 km morning ride, I returned home feeling like I had been planking all night long.

The mountain bike is a good bike. It’s an aluminum frame, so it’s heavy. But the pedal action is so smooth, I hardly notice. Until I’m in the wind. So, I’m getting my kms and exercise.

And for some reason I can no longer recall, I put the original saddle my mountain came with back on it. It’s sleek. It looks cool. It’s like sitting on a brick. I came home from a long ride that day with a grouchy, achy back — the like of which I had not experienced since my last days of jogging in the previous century. As soon as I got home, I switched the saddles, returning my ComfortRide one, and very happy I did so.

Last year, I had a 50 km morning route along the rural routes between LaSalle and Amherstburg. This year, I’m making a 65 km morning ride into the heart of Windsor. The increased number of turns means wind takes less of a toll on me. When I have it in my face, it’s never for too long. Also, I enjoy the ride along the Detroit River out to Walkerville. I spin through some streets around venerable Willistead Park, and then back home along the riverfront trail. A few tweaks to the route ensure I have minimal contact with traffic.

With that said, riding back into LaSalle on Malden road, about 300 meters from the roundabout, the other morning, some malignant son of a bitch blew by me, bare inches away, the oncoming lane utterly empty. He could have easily given me room, but the black pickup truck — in my mind, the engrained icon of toxic masculinity — blew by at a murderous speed. I retaliated with ineffectual hand gestures I learned in the school yard. To no avail. Looked for this jerk the next morning, but our paths did not cross.

Unsure if my goal of 20,000 km this year is going to happen. All I can say is that I ride as far and as fast as I can every time I’m out there.

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Matthew St. Amand

Matthew St. Amand

Husband, father, amateur ghost hunter, online-ordained minister and writer. Learn more (but not much more) at www.mattst.biz