All is well in Big Girl land.
Yesterday, I discovered that there was an entrance to the Shelby Farms Greenline merely miles from my home. [For those of you who, like me, weren’t born in Memphis, the SFG is a wonderful multi-use path that spans six miles and then connects to the largest urban park in the country. So, yeah, it’s kind of a ‘thing’.]
In large part due to being a Memphis ‘noob’, I hadn’t realized that I could access the Greenline so easily. Accordingly, I had been planning on making the approximately 25/30 minute drive on the weekends to Shelby Farms, and then spending the rest of my cycling days playing a thrilling, yet somewhat horrifying, version of Frogger on the downtown Memphis roads.
(actual footage of my past morning rides*)
(*okay, not really)
So, needless to say, I was a wee bit excited when I made this discovery. Exhibit A: I despise mornings–yet, I still
only slightly grumbled bounced out of bed excited to go check out the path this morning.
It did not disappoint. I have to give a lot of credit to the Shelby Farms foundation, because they’ve done a wonderful job of putting together a beautiful path. It’s not just a basic slab of concrete haphazardly paved through a disaster area. Quite the opposite, the path is well-kept, spacious, surrounded by shade and sometimes breathtaking scenery. Further–as I hinted at before–it leads to the even more beautiful Shelby Farms park. And, of course, I totally rode the whole path and back*
(*Not an accurate depiction of the morning’s events)
Another fun part about riding the Greenline was seeing my fellow fitness comrades. Seeing the cyclists was, obviously, the best part. I finally got to do that ‘super cool’ mini hand wave to those riding in the opposite direction. And, when a super sporty racer
blazed by me passed me, I got to exchange some awkward, quick small talk, too. Also, before he disappeared like lightning before my very eyes, I enjoyed pretending that I was not too far behind him.In all seriousness, it was nice to feel somewhat a part of a greater cycling community. I’m painfully far from being group ride ready, so, for now, it’s a nice treat.
Passing the joggers was also fun, but for different reasons. Let me qualify the following statements by clarifying that I have nothing against runners; I just don’t like running. I’m sure I’d love it if I were super fit already or something. But, I’m currently not a fan (unless I’m being chased by a demon from the pit of the Underworld. Or Jack Nicholson–he just creeps me out and I suspect I’d run from him if ever our paths crossed).
(How could this face not horrify you?)
So, that being said, I just love speeding past them and remembering how much more I enjoying cycling than trying to suffer through a jog. Plus, considering how slow I am at the moment, they are pretty much the only things I can speed past. Also, I got to try out my shiny, ‘high tec’ bike bell. (Although I’m still debating how useful this is. When I hit it, a few people just seemed slightly startled and/or confused, yet never looked back as if expecting a bike to come from behind them).
Finally, I was also reminded why I feel safer on a bike than jogging/walking on these bike paths. They are safe and well kept, but there are still stretches where conceivably someone could try to jump out and grab you, etc. I feel better knowing I’m moving fast enough to avoid some of that hazard. Also, I passed this crazy looking, wild cat from the forest and was incredibly glad I was spinning away on two wheels instead of jogging at the time.
Basically, it was just a wonderful, breathtaking (in both senses of the word) experience. It made me even gladder that I chose to get a road bike. And, for some reason–probably because I got caught up in the fun of it all–I was able to ride longer than usual (a ‘whopping’ 30 mins!)
I know, I know, hold your applause! 😉
Here are some (low quality) pics:
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