Monday, September 13, 2010

Making 300 In A Summer

Trek at Bridge Along Preston Harmony Trail in MN

Yesterday was another magnificent summer day- and a great day to go biking. In general this summer has been awesome with lots of good biking. In fact yesterday I hit 300 miles for the summer on the trails and around town on my good old Trek 7000. I also am at 678 total miles on the bike in these three summers

I decided yesterday was a day to challenge myself- to take a step forward in my biking. I headed to the trailhead at Preston Minnesota and headed south to the town of Harmony.

Two Flutters Along Preston Harmony Trail in MN

I have avoided this particular section of trail because everywhere I read it says hills. This section is not built on an old rail bed and it comes up out of the valley to the bluffs.

Steep Along Preston Harmony Trail in MN

There is a two-mile hill starting just about halfway between Preston and Harmony. Steep grades southbound really slow you down. My average on the 12 miles going south was 9.8 mph. My average on the 12miles going north was 13.8 mph. I hit a high of over 28 mph going downhill AND pedaling. I was actually able to maintain a decent speed even on the flats. It was like climbing a mountain and then having this great ride back down. I also noticed that now, when traveling at 10 mph on a flat or easy grade, I feel like I am crawling. That was a good speed back in May.

Early signs of fall and late signs of summer were everywhere.

Farm Along Preston Harmony Trail in MN

Fields were golden.

Husks Along Preston Harmony Trail in MN

Corn stalks were brown.

The sun, the sky, the temperature- everything fell together on a truly wonderful day.
Leaves Along Preston Harmony Trail in MN

I headed a little farther north past Preston on my way back in order to make this my longest single-day ride since the first day of my 60 for 60 over two years ago.

At the end I was talking to a biking couple who were just finishing about 20 miles. They commented on how wonderful this Root River-Harmony trail system is. "It's a Cadillac," they told me, having ridden many of the ones around the state.

I would wholeheartedly agree. The nice thing is that there may be several more trips on this trail yet this fall.

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