The lesson is, as always, I’m an idiot
In case you didn’t know already, I’m here to tell you that I am an idiot. Many people who meet me seem to come away with the impression that I am, in fact, a reasonably intelligent fellow, but they are wrong, and I’ll prove it to you.
I was excited this morning to drive over to the far western edge of Orange County to ride a new trail, cleverly titled the West Orange Trail. All of the reviews of the trail that I had read raved about what a great ride this trail is, packed with lots of scenery, shady tree canopies, a picturesque section through downtown Winter Garden, a few lazy hills and well appointed rest stops along the 20 + mile route. All of that would have been really fantastic, except for the fact that, while I drove my car to the correct place and unloaded my bike at the Killarney Trail head at the Orange/Lake County border, I took off in the wrong direction and ended up riding down the South Lake Trail in Lake County. Only I didn’t figure this out until after I got home.
Read any description of the South Lake Trail and first thing that is mentioned are the number of hills. This is for a reason. There are a lot of hills. LOTS of them. And these aren’t the usual Florida “hills” that are in reality little more than speed bumps, but actual, honest to goodness, climb to the top and you can see the surrounding countryside hills. The end result was that instead of the long, fairly smooth 24-28 mile ride that I had planned on taking, I ended up trudging through 13 of the hardest and hottest miles that I’ve ridden in a long time. And by long time I mean since I was in high school and riding around the hills of South Carolina. I will admit that pushing 30 mph on the downhills was pretty cool if still slightly terrifying (The terrified bikers prayer on the downhill: please don’t hit a rock, please don’t hit a rock).
The stats from today:
Obviously this was still a really great workout, and I actually felt really great after finishing and replacing the estimated 567 gallons of fluid that I lost along the way, but the fact remains that I’m just not far enough along in my training/getting back in shape to tackle that kind of trail on a consistent basis with the temperature so close to the boiling point. So, lesson learned for next time (turn left out of the parking lot, not right), and I’ll consider this my intervals ride for the week and look forward to returning to try out the actual West Orange Trail next weekend.
See, I was right about the idiot part, wasn’t I? Told you so.