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re-ignited the flame

It’s really been since the tour that I’ve had a good, long, leg-stretcher of a ride, but on Sunday, Joel and I carved a nice chunk of the day out for a 60-mile spin about.

We went out past Longview Lake, which is a pretty popular cycling route, though it was a new one on me. It was a great day for it, warm, but cloudy. Sure, it was windy, but Joel’s a great route-picker…he’ll take you into a headwind on the way out so that you get a much-needed boost on the way back home, when you really do want it!

Man, it was a pretty day, and it just felt great to get out and about and see a little countryside.

Now, since we did that ride, I keep thinking of other long-ride routes that I want to revisit. I’m also feeling a little more confident about the Dirty Kanza. My legs are still there, even after a fairly hibernate-y winter. I’m surely not going to be setting the gravel aflame, but I reckon that so long as I don’t get myself lost again, I should at least be able to finish.

I did a little jaunt through Swope Park, Swope Parkway, and out Blue River Rd. after work the other day, but given my crapful direction sense, I didn’t push it real far for fear of getting myself lost in the hinterlands and having the devil of a time getting back home. I need to have Joel come with me out that loop and help me solidify the route in my mind. I’ve done it a few times with a group, but I’m not good at remembering routes from group rides, since most of my energy is usually going on to keeping up the pace & not getting dropped!

I’ve done the Blue Moose ride a dozen times & couldn’t tell you the route. Ditto the 75th St. Brewery ride and the Brookside Ride. I know that any and all of the above share some of the same turf, but I couldn’t take somebody else out on that loop.

My fairly random peregrinations around the city have started to serve me in a practical sense though. I admittedly have lousy directional sense, but I do have a good memory for coordinates. Therefore, when I had to ride out to the boondocks for an appointment with a recruiter a couple of weeks ago, I was able to piece together a bikeable route with a few suggestions from Joel and my admittedly sketchy knowledge of that part of town. Then, last week, when I had training far in the southeast of Kansas City (almost in Raytown!) and I took a wrong turn on my way back home & ended up over by the casinos, I was able to figure out a back way into the City Market, thence to the West Bottoms, and on to home without too much sweat.

Randomly riding around town has given me an intimate knowledge of specific parts of the city. Most of the time this knowledge serves only for amusement, but occasionally, it really, really comes in handy.

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