Can I just tell you how hard it is to change into bike shorts immediately after running 12 miles in the Arkansas humidity!! Not easy to put it mildly but very funny, especially since I had to do it in the truck!
Once everyone was ready we headed out onto River Drive and back towards the River Trail, the plan was to ride to the new Junction Bridge that connects the North Little Rock River Trail to the River Market in Little Rock.
See all those flights of stairs... we had to carry our bikes all the way up!! There is an elevator but Vic decided that was too sissy and the rest of us just followed along. It became pretty comical but was also pretty painful, especially to my wrist and shoulder.. I told Francesca she was going on a diet!! Almost forgot there were several more flights of stairs we had to take just to get to the Bridge.
Actually the most painful part because of my aching legs was going down all those stairs on the Little Rock side.
The Bridge comes out right by the River Market. The Farmer's Market was in full swing and it was kind of fun to ride our bikes through there as we headed to Boulevard Bread Co. We parked the bikes and then all headed in different directions to get breakfast, but we met again to sit outside near the bikes and eat. Kelly and Robert drove over and joined us for breakfast.
We had been hearing loud thunder throughout most of our run and it was cloudy but we never saw any rain until we all had our food and had sat down at a picnic table that didn't have any cover. We quickly found a table with an umbrella and enjoyed the rest of our breakfast.
Coreen Fraser who is a Cabot Cruiser although she lives in Little Rock was waiting for us at the River Market she was going to ride with us and she knows all the roads in Little Rock she she was a blessing!! She is a very cool lady, she has biked all over the United States and Europe and is a Cancer survivor.
After we all ate she lead us through the streets of Little Rock down Cantrell and over to Titus Trail. We basically were biking the same route that we ran most of our long runs on for San Francisco just backwards and a few different turns since we were on bikes and not feet.
Arland, James, and Cindy went on without us after we made it to Titus Trail, they were playing cat and mouse and really riding hard!
Vicki, Brenda, Bailey, Jackie, Coreen, Emil, Iron Lisa, and myself rode together for most of the route, we would sometimes have little split off's but we always would slow down or stop to regroup. Arland just reminded me that Bailey played with them for a while until we all regrouped at the Bridge.
As hard as the Big Dam Bridge is on foot it is even harder on the bike, but I have gotten much better on the hills and it wasn't a problem. The hardest part was just staying safe with a ton of other bikers, runners, walkers and dogs all sharing a pretty narrow bridge!! Also the downhill is pretty scary!!
Actually the Bridge wasn't the hardest hill of the day!! No Vicki had a suprise for us, she wanted us to go up the hill leading out of the socceer fields onto Arlene Lahman or something like that, anyway this hill is STEEP and the last time I went up it with Arland, Curtis and Bailey I ended up in the grass and had to walk up. This time was much better, it helped that I had Coreen and Vicki with me coaching me on my gears the whole time... they truly made a big difference!!
After we made it up that hill there were a few more hard climbs but also some great downhills!!
I was able to ride the last couple of miles in with Cindy C. she is such a strong biker and she had been playing with Arland and James but then they met back up with us and she rode the rest of the way back to the Skate Park with us. We were about 3 miles out when the sky started looking pretty dark and we were concerned we might get caught in a thunder storm, but luckily we made it back way before the rain came... if it even did??
We ended up 18 miles on the bike and honestly I didn't want it to end!! It was great to get to ride with everyone I spent time with almost everyone during the bike and that was cool. It was such a perfect morning, a good longish run and a great short ride!!
Even better we were home by 12:00!
Gabby I wish you could have been with us!! And sorry to hear you are having some of the same problems with your stomach that I do!