Today was a terribly frustrating day at work and it left me agitated to no end. One nice thing I learned about exercising is it has this mystical way of resetting our mind and flushing out the crap. That is, if we have the mental discipline to let that happen. Granted I don't always have that discipline (today was one of those days where it wasn't there) and it works much better for me while running than it does any other sport. But, today was cross train day and in the spirit of cross training I did exactly that.
Swimming sounded nice but I've been swimming too much recently. It was time to take on one of the other sports I have to do. The one I do but literally can't stand doing: cycling. As far as I'm concerned, a bike is a great to get get around without spending coin on gas. I don't like it as a sport because (a) I'm not good at it, (b) I'm as aerodynamic as a parachute, (c) it's expensive, (d) there's just too much that can go wrong, (e) if you wipe out you're out for the count, and (f) did I mention I'm not good at it.
What a great way to start out a sporting activity. Four immediate and negative thoughts that would nag me for the two hours I'd be out on the bike. But I wouldn't let that get to me. After all, this isn't about racing. Like I said, there are positives to biking and I need to focus on those. For instance, biking is excellent cross training. My bike isn't exactly bad either. In fact, it's pretty pimp. It hasn't gotten me a girlfriend yet but all things in due time.
After spending a few moments concentrating on the positives of biking I headed out to circle Lake Minnetonka in the hopes of mapping out the 33 mile course of the Tour de Tonka.
The first half of the ride was virtually against the wind the whole way. And on top of that my bike brakes were squeaking. It was very obnoxious and only intensified my negative thoughts. The only thing that kept me from throwing my bike into the lake was the fact that I'd be forced to walk home in my bike shoes and the beautiful scenery that was calming my soul.
On the last half of the ride I was really starting to get into the groove. The lake was gorgeous, the partial sunset was breath taking, and the atmosphere was everything a resort town can possibly offer. It was going great until I noticed that I missed a few turns so I failed at mapping the tour. Aggravated from that I turned to go home along Minnetonka Blvd and went down a street that must have been paved by a pack of drunk geese. The pot holes were almost unbearable and I was just waiting to hear that fateful sound of a tire popping. There's nothing like taking on a pot hole while going down hill at 27-30 mph. You may as well just throw yourself to the ground. But, to my luck and astonishment, all was well and I was on my way.
I finally made it home after a tally of 33.66 miles. At the end of the day, all that aggression I had must have worked itself out because when I rolled into the driveway I felt great. Like a new man. Biking makes no sense to me. Why must the process of biking completely suck in order to feel better on the other end. Why can't it be like running? With running, the whole event is fun and in the end you're so wasted it feels amazing. A win-win.
Here's the course I took. It's not the entire 33 mile tour but a lot of it is mapped out here. I really want to map it out because they have this lame not-to-scale course map. I'd love to get this done for them so they have a real map to use.