a morning ride

When I left home on a bike ride around the city this morning, the sun was shining, there was a warm if somewhat muggy breeze blowing, and I had every intention of making a big circle around the city and getting home again within an hour and a half.

By the time I returned home the sun was *not* shining, the wind was lashing a spray of rain across my face and the air was more than a little muggy, although I have to say it was still relatively warm, and a lucky thing it was.

I rode my normal route through the Waunona Woods neighborhood to Olbrich Park, where I turned onto a bike trail I could take all the way to the arboretum. I got to the arboretum early enough in the morning that there were almost no cars at all along the road, a big plus when it comes to enjoying a quiet bike ride through the woods. Also a big plus: spotting a doe and her fawn running through the woods. That sorta made my day.

At the other end of the arboretum, I ride through the Nakoma neighborhood to Midvale Road where I can get on the Southwest Commuter Path, a bike trail I can take straight back into town that drops me at the shore of Lake Monona. From there, I can ride north around the shore of the lake to the Capitol City Trail, which I can ride almost all the way to Monona. It’s a ride of about eighteen or nineteen miles; I can’t tell for sure because although my phone is usually pretty good at tracking me wherever I go, it frequently throws a zig or a zag into my route that adds miles to the total.

I had just come off the Capitol City Trail and was in the home stretch along Monona Drive when the first few drops of rain warned me to get off the road and under an overhang if I wanted to stay dry. Luckily, I was not far from our favorite cafe and I had worked up a decent hunger, so I pulled in and ordered a breakfast of blueberry oat cakes, which I ate while watching the rain pour down. It was not a small storm, either. I had plenty of time after breakfast to order a cup of coffee and drink it at leisure before the rain eased up enough for me to get back on my bike and ride home, and even then I still got plenty wet.

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