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Enjoyed some incredible weather on Saturday’s 20 mile mountain bike ride.

Monday, December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

December
5
2011
Bike on a Trail photo for December 3, 2011. Yes, this is December. I really love living in Florida!

Bike on a Trail photo for December 3, 2011. Yes, this is December. I really love living in Florida!

The weather on Saturday was perfect: clear blue skies, temperatures in the mid 70s (F) and sunny with a gentle cool breeze blowing. You know you’re feeling lazy when the weather is practically straight out of a fairy tail and you still don’t want to venture outdoors. That’s how I was feeling on Saturday morning, but I made myself go ride and I’m very glad that I did.

I did just over 20 miles at Wekiwa, and I stuck to some of the more remote bikes trails for most of the ride.

On one of the remote trails (which is technically a hiking only trail) I came across just one hiker. The hiker was a young woman who was all by herself. The trail was narrow, so as I approached I decided to dismount from my bike and walk past her. As I started to get off my bike it occurred to me that dismounting might make her nervous (“Why is this guy getting off his bike?!“), which, of course, is the opposite of what I intended. Thankfully she didn’t seem creeped out; she gave me a big smile, waved and said “Good morning!” as I walked my bike past her. Nice. I’ve come across so many cranky nits out there that it’s always nice to meet someone who is simply out enjoying him or herself and in a good mood.

I've seen lots of horseback riders the past few weeks.

I've seen lots of horseback riders the past few weeks.

Turns out it was my lucky day when it came to people encounters…

A bit later in the ride I was on a wide shared horse/bike trail. I saw a couple of horseback riders approaching, so I pulled my bike off to the side and came to a full stop. Bikes, runners and hikers all must yield to horses and, while the trail was plenty wide enough for me to continue riding, I know that horses can spook easily. As the riders came into earshot I called out, “Hi, I don’t want to spook your horses!” The female rider replied, “Thank you, we really appreciate that! Also, hearing your voice helps to let the horses know what you are.”

We struck up a conversation and they let me take some photographs of them and their beautiful horses.

When I lived in Texas my sister rode horses for many years. The stable was about 5 minutes from our house, and I remember going up there and watching her ride. Occasionally I’d get to ride, too.

I love horses, so getting to see them out on the trails is just one more aspect about riding at Wekiwa that I really enjoy.

Late Purple Aster.

Late Purple Aster.

Even though most of the wildflowers are gone at this time of year, there is still lots of color. The palms, of course, stay green year-round, and there are also flowers in bloom right now. I see a lot of Late Purple Aster this time of year. When I was on a trail that runs right along the Wekiva river I came across a large amount of it that was not there last week. Just beautiful. I took a few photographs, but the one to the right was my favorite.

I’m very glad that I got off my lazy butt and rode on Saturday. I had a really good time, and I got some much needed cardio in. My average moving heart rate had to be in the upper 170s, and I maxed my heart rate (196 BPM) at least three times.

Today is leg day, and I’m actually feeling more motivated than I have over the past few weeks. My workouts last week were fairly “meh”, so I’m going to get in the gym this afternoon and work hard to stoke the fire a bit.

I hope you all had a good weekend, too!

John Stone Fitness Comments

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