Biking with my bro

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Day 17: Independence Ankeny Wildlife Refuge Loop

Riding with my ‘little’ brother schooled me:  I geared down as I watched James pump easily up a modest hill, then wait at the top.  When I finally arrived at the crest, he asked, not sarcastically, ‘So what is your pace anyway?’

‘Faster than that!’ I answered in humility. ‘I’m not in my best form’.  With the start of my fall tour less than two months away, it seemed daunting to be able to get back in shape.

James had been asking me to come up for a ride. ‘Little’ is in quotes above because I think he’s over 6 feet tall.  I was carrying my winter weight still, and found my pace much slower.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons I don’t like to ride with others.  Embarrassment at how slow I ride, when not in shape.

In response, I mapped out a rigorous new training schedule, starting with 25 miles rides for a week, then 30 milers, then 35, then 40 and up to 50 the last couple weeks before the tour. Ambitious, yes.  But completely doable.  This is how I trained for the last two tours, but more thought out.

Back to the ride:  Independence is a quaint mid valley town, nestled in a bend on the Willamette River.  Clear skies, mid70s, rolling hills, not too much wildlife, but a car-free 30 mile ride on farm roads that loop Ankeny Refuge.

Over pizza, James invited me to the Portland Bridge Pedal.  I might take him up on the offer.  And will be in better shape when it ‘rolls’ around…

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