Biking outside... what a novel idea! Much as I really do like biking on the trainer inside during the winter, it was an amazing experience to be outside biking again over the past few weeks. It's been sunny and breezy here, just warm enough that with a sweater or a bike jacket you can hop on and go. Biking on the trainer just can't compare to the lovely free feeling of getting somewhere all on your own power.
My SO and I did two rides together in the past weeks, the first a quick sunday ride up on South Hill, and the second a ride out to Taughannock park. My SO has a map of the second ride on his blog, but I stole some of his pics to repost here. Here's me with my ridiculous knee socks on the second ride:
The trail at Taughannock park that leads to the waterfall was actually open at this time of year, despite the fact that it was pretty icy and slippery. We slipped our way down to the falls anyway to get a look at it in its iced over state. There's a huge mound of ice down there at the bottom of the falls, although the falls itself isn't frozen (I don't know if it ever freezes over in the winter.... seems somewhat unlikely).
The other ride up South Hill was definitely more challenging for me. It was one of those rides (like so many rides in Ithaca) where you spend 40 minutes climbing, 10 minutes on top of the hill enjoying the view and then 10 minutes zipping down the hill at speeds that terrify me. I should have known better than to say yes to this ride when my SO started by saying, "Well, if you're willing to do a little climbing, we could go this way..." I guess it's time to reset his internal biking-with-partner sensor that helps him distinguish between rides that will make me smile like this pic, and rides that make me wish there was something even lower than granny gear.
A final great thing about outdoor biking is that in these two short rides we went over 30 miles, putting me at about 950 in my winter biking challenge. Do the miles count if I wasn't actually on the trainer? They were certainly easier to come by, so it feels a little like cheating!