Riding to a trail run

Colleen and I went for a trail run Saturday night at the Acres preserve nearest our house, which I’d never visited before even though it’s only a little over 4 miles away.

Parking our bikes at the Anna Brand Hammer Reserve.

Colleen mounts her bike at the Anna Brand Hammer Reserve.

The trail itself is only half a mile through a very ordinary 40-acre forest. I kept thinking it was no more impressive than the woods across from my parents’ house, with one glaring exception: THAT WOODS ISN’T THERE ANYMORE! This one, while unspectacular, is at least protected from misguided farmers who think the world needs another few acres of corn more than it needs forest land.

I thought we might do laps, since half a mile isn’t much of a run. Turns out it was about all I could manage on a day when my neck pain buildup* was so awful it was about all I could do to hold my head up.

These little bridges aren't really necessary when it's not rainy, but we sure could've used some bug spray!

These little bridges aren’t really necessary when it’s not rainy, but we sure could’ve used some bug spray!

Ten hours of sleep later, my neck felt much better — enough so that I agreed to follow through on Colleen’s plan to ride our bikes to the trail on Sunday morning. It was her first venture riding anywhere that required going down the highway, but she did a good job of sticking to the side of the road and there wasn’t much traffic on a Sunday morning.

We rode about 9 miles there and back, broken up by a half-mile run/hike on the trail. (I ran ahead but not so far that I’d get out of sight, then come back to where she was hiking. Since this ride was right at the brink of her current limit, she didn’t want to run.)

Colleen had a blast on this little adventure, so I have a feeling we’ll be doing this more often — especially if we remember to bring bug spray. From now on, though, no matter how many laps we run on the trail, we’re going to ride there instead of drive. It’s just too ridiculous to drive 4 miles for a half-mile hike or jog.

*Clearly it’s time to get back to yoga class if I want to avoid another pinched nerve that resulted in several hundred dollars worth of physical therapy a couple of years ago. 

On the way there we rode past a field of sunflowers that we never even noticed in the car.

On the way there we rode past a field of sunflowers that we never even noticed in the car.

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