Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reminiscing about BRAN

June always makes me miss BRAN (the Bike Ride Across Nebraska). Now that I'm working day shift, I miss it even more. When I walk out to my car on the way to work, all I can think is that June mornings smell like BRAN to me. It makes me miss being outside all day and wandering around small towns after a grueling workout.

I've done a total of 7 bike rides across Nebraska. When I started, I rode 5 summers in a row: every summer of high school and the summer after freshman year of college. Then I fell into an every-other-summer pattern due to summer jobs, moving, etc. However, this is the SECOND summer in a row that I am not doing BRAN, which means its the longest I've gone without my bike riding, small-town-loving, little-old-lady-homemade-pie-eating fix. I'm determined to go next year.

Somewhere in middle America in 2008

To get a mini biking fix in, Ross and I went out to Shawnee Mission Park for a bike ride this morning. It reminded me of the less pleasant side of BRAN: bike riding! I told myself I would take a week off of running this week. I'm not sleeping well yet and my body isn't recovering from runs. I just get slower and more sore each day. So I thought an easy bike ride would be a nice way to get outside and get moving. I forgot that my KC running woes would also translate into biking woes: there are hills everywhere!

We biked 6.65 miles in 35 minutes. This would be incredibly slow and kind of pitiful on a flat trail, but there were no flat surfaces on our ride! We climbed 679 feet, which isn't a lot to some bikers, but it's a lot when you haven't gone on a long bike ride in a year. It's also a lot when you've promised your legs you will give them a one-week break and they end up begging for mercy halfway up each hill instead!

The elevation on today's ride

It was merciless and painful, yet strangely fun. BRAN in a nutshell. All that was missing was another 40-90 miles of biking, some good home cookin', and a tent waiting to be set up for the night.

Click here to see more BRAN pictures from the 2008 ride.

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