The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Because it's there

[The Ass-crack of Dawn]

Bunny and I got up early today, way early, to head on down to Shark Valley for a 15 mile bike ride.


Because we're stupid, that's why.

Or masochistic.

Quite possibly both.

Anyway, this whole thing started a few months ago when Kurt first proposed the idea in January. Much to everyone's surprise, I decided to go along. At the time, Bunny suggested that I might want to try riding a bike a bit first, seeing how it's been almost twenty years since I last did any serious bike riding.

It didn't go well. Maybe five four miles worth of riding around the neighborhood, and I was practically dead. And surprised at just how hilly the streets are around these parts of Chez Boca.

But the trip was put off. And bumped. And postponed. And delayed.

Until today.


We arrived at Shark Valley at the ungodly hour of 8:30.

[We, who are about to die, salute you]

Kurt did warn us that the bicycle seats would become unconfortable towards the end of the ride, so Bunny made some seat cusions for our bikes. Unfortunately, they were too thick to be effective so we ended up not using them at all.

Now, the loop runs north/south, with the western edge (outbound, away from the visitor's center) a straight seven miles long, and the eastern edge (inbound, back to the visitor's center) a curvy eight miles. And on Google Maps, it doesn't appear all that daunting.

But the map is not the territory.

[The Infinite Road Ahead]

The southbound leg is straight.

[The road to Lower Sheol is paved with asphalt]

No, really, I mean straight.

The first half the ride wasn't bad. The road was flatter than paper and the wind was slowly blowing mostly across the path. Optimum biking conditions.

[The place was lousy with gators.  They were everywhere!]

A few hours later, we arrived at the half-way point, an observation tower at the southern end of the loop. A nice sturdy structure with easy access to the main level.

[I can see for miles and miles ... ]
[Walking amongst the treetops]

We spent perhaps half an hour resting, munching on some snacks (walnuts, raisins, pretzels, mini-chocolate bars) and gulping down water. The view from the observation deck was impressive, but the stairs leading up to the very top were closed off for some reason—perhaps for safety.

The other half of the trip, the trip north back to the visitor's center was horrible. The bicycle seat suddenly got rock hard and I found it very difficult to sit down for any length of time. Shame, since the wind was now coming from slightly behind us, making it all the much easier to ride. In fact, the only thing that really hurt at this point was my butt. My legs? Fine. Back? Fine. Butt? Screaming at me to get the XXXX off the seat.

I was never so glad to see the parking lot after eight long miles.

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[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

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