Last week, I was invited to a friend’s house for a Memorial Day BBQ. Being without a car and the fact that she lives about 15 miles away, I had two options. Being a holiday, the express bus doesn’t run. I wasn’t really keen on taking the local bus up there. That meant my other option was to ride the bike. I’ve ridden up that way twice before. It’s a good workout and it was a beautiful day out. So, my decision was clear. Since my friends live in the North East part of Thornton, I decided to take the Platte River Trail. The start is 5 miles from my house. It’s all downhill. So, that makes the first leg easy.
The ride seemed easier and more fun than the first time I did it. At least the part of the ride before I got off the trail. Once, I got off the trail and back on surface streets, the insane headwind hit me. And after riding about 15 miles, it was hard to ride against the wind. But, I eventually got there. The entire trip took 1:38:25. So, says Runkeeper, the app on my phone that tracked my progress. I even almost ran over a bull snake sunbathing on the warm concrete.
Once there, I had to rest for a few minutes. After I had a burger and some water, I was good. What really surprised me, was how I wasn’t worried about my social anxiety. It’s been awhile since its bothered me. But, I figured that if I didn’t know anyone, I would at least put in an appearance and say to my friends who were hosting and find an easy time to take my leave. Not because of social anxiety. But, because I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t having a good time. What I found, was several friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Mostly people I used to work with. It was great catching up with old friends and former coworkers outside of the work environment.
I ended up staying until midnight along with several other people I had just met. I had some alcohol. But, cut myself off at least an hour before I decided to leave. Once I felt good enough to ride, I made my departure. I got a big hug from Melissa, who thanked me for staying all night (I have a history of vanishing once social anxiety raises it’s ugly head). And her husband Michael gave me a strong handshake and said I was welcome to stop by anytime. It was really nice seeing them again.
No, I didn’t ride back to Wheat Ridge on my bike at midnight. I have family up here. So, I made plans with my parents to stay in their guest bedroom if I left late. But, that’s still 5 miles away. I know the neighborhood well enough, having lived up here most of the years I’ve been in Colorado. So, I knew the side streets and shortcuts that would get me to a comfy bed the fastest. What I didn’t plan on was the wind. For some reason, I thought it might have stopped by midnight. I didn’t notice it at the party. But, once I was on the road, I could feel the incredible head wind I had to ride against. It took me 45 minutes to ride 5 miles. There was a section of freeway I had to ride over. Even riding down from the top of the freeway bridge, I had to push pretty hard against the wind. I could have walked most of it faster.
I had a wonderful day. And I’m really glad I decided to take the day off. Something I rarely do. I should try it more often. 🙂