Inaugural Ride.

We had a pretty exciting morning over here in our neck of the woods.  After yesterday’s relatively unproductive day, I was up early at 6am, determined to make better use of today’s time.  Imagine my excitement when Casey suggested we take advantage of the early cool weather and head out on a BIKE RIDE!

To give a brief background, I got my bike over the summer of 2009, just a few weeks after we got married.  I fell completely in love with riding it on a few of the trails near our house in Ohio, and we would go out for weekly long rides of 20+ miles.  In August 2009, we moved to Charlotte, which is perhaps the least biker-friendly city I’ve ever encountered.  Busy narrow streets with no bike lanes meant that my poor bike collected dust in our garage for an entire year, except for one venture out on the sidewalks. 

Which bring us to today, my first REAL bike ride in over a year – hallelujah!  I’m hoping this will become a very regular occurrence, with amazing bike trails just outside our front door.  Casey checked our bikes and pumped up the tires to make sure we were good to go.

IMG_0437 (471x640)

It was EARLY when we started (hence the giant eye bags) and cool enough that I needed long sleeves.  Love it!

IMG_0438 (640x480)

To be honest, I was a little nervous before.  But I guess the phrase “like riding a bike” really does make sense, because as soon as I got on it felt comfortable and familiar.  We rode a few blocks over to the water and picked up the Mt. Vernon Trail heading north.  The sun was still making its way up over the water.

IMG_0450 (640x472)

This bike trail has lots of elevation changes, tunnels, and turns – you definitely have to pay attention to what you’re doing.  We passed some cool wall art…

IMG_0448 (640x479)

And then made our way to the same spot I had run past on my 16-miler just two days ago.  But THIS time I had my camera!  Okay seriously, there is this spot in the trail that has the COOLEST view ever.  You literally stand directly in front of the tarmac at Ronald Reagan Airport…

IMG_0439 (640x475)

And then the giant planes RACE toward you full speed!  They get SO close – I’d guess about 200 feet.

IMG_0444 (640x476)

And then just when they look like they are going to literally come barreling down on top of you, they lift off into the sky overhead (this one is a smaller plane). 

IMG_0441 (640x469)

And fly right over top!  The pictures really don’t do the experience justice – it is incredible.  I could stand there and watch the planes fly over all day long. 

IMG_0447 (640x454)

The views in the other direction aren’t bad either.

IMG_0442 (640x479)

IMG_0443 (479x640)

I was so thrilled to be back on my bike!  I’ll admit though, physically it was a lot tougher than I had remembered.  We only biked around 12 miles total, but my quads were screaaaaming by the end!

IMG_0445 (640x476)

It was officially morning by the time we headed back to start our work days, and we enjoyed the scenic views of the water our whole way home. 

After being spoiled by growing up spending entire summers on the beach, my number one request for wherever we settle down permanently is “to live near water.”  Check!  I can see us staying here for a very, very long time.

IMG_0451 (470x640)

Can’t wait to go ride again!  Now I just need to figure out a good balance between running and biking – don’t want to totally burn my legs out while I’m training for the Marine Corps Marathon

IMG_0452 (640x479)

As soon as we got home, the focus was on FOOD!  I was starving.  Good thing I had set up my rice cooker so that we’d have some delicious steel cut oats perfectly cooked when we arrived.   

IMG_0462 (640x480)

Steel cut oats cooked with chia seeds, diced banana, and a splash of vanilla…

IMG_0455 (640x479)

Topped with slivered almonds and raisins…

IMG_0456 (640x478)

And a spoonful of some amazing raw honey that my mother-in-law gave to us.  It is so much thicker and grainier than traditional honey – I love it. 

IMG_0457 (640x480)

So happy to be all settled in to our new house with my pretty dishes and real food available to me again.  Orange spoons are fun!

IMG_0459 (480x640)

Started my day off right, and now I’m determined to keep it going.  Three, two, one…!