It's sunny out for a change, after a week or more of cloudy weather, and the temperature is in the upper teens. Not bad for February in Minnesota. I was going to bike to the coffee shop with my computer to do some writing, but after standing outside for a few minutes adjusting the dog's leash, I was feeling the cold on my legs. Besides, I couldn't find my long underwear -- not that I looked all that hard. So I tell my husband that I'm going to drive to the coffee shop instead.
So here I am at my neighborhood coffee shop when in walks our friendly neighborhood bike shop guy, Jim Thill of Hiawatha Cyclery. He's with a friend. He says hello and tells me that they've been biking "all around."
Oh, I say, did you bike the grand rounds? That's the route that loops through the Minneapolis parkways, about 50 miles if you do the whole thing, but I was just imagining the portion that goes around the lakes, which is still maybe 30 miles round trip. No, he tells me, they've biked out to the eastern suburbs, White Bear Lake and the like. Well, White Bear Lake is about 30 miles by freeway each way. And they've not only biked there and back, but biked "around" to other places as well.
When they get up to go, I ask, are you done now? Are you going home? I know that Jim lives in the neighborhood. "Well, I am," says Jim. "But he [referring to his friend] has a ways to go yet. He lives in Robbinsdale." That's about another 12 miles. The friend acknowledges that his legs are a little tired, but he is undaunted by the trek that remains for him. It's about 4:15, he's probably got an hour before it starts to get dark.
And I couldn't bring myself to bike the 1.6 miles to the coffee shop! I feel like such a wimp!