It has been a rough week for me. I feel completely stupid and selfish for being concerned about my bike path when there are so many other pressing issues, but old habits die hard, too, and thinking I could not bike (and not getting to bike last weekend) really wore on me. I've been watching the river recede, and everywhere I drive I'm trying to get a good look at the greenway that I can see. It looks like any paved path that was parallel to the river, for the most part, survived mostly intact. There are a few exceptions - at one place (Sunset Street) the river raged through a very narrow channel and took out the bridge, and most of the concrete. In later pictures, the concrete is stacked up like plates 50 or so yards downstream. Anywhere that the bike path bisected the river was completely obliterated. The river made its own channels and paths downstream, and there are large pieces missing. I hold out hope that repairs will not require a complete overhaul of the greenway, just repairing the sections that are damaged and replacing what is missing. Still, I think it will be next summer before the path is back to what riders, walkers, and joggers need it to be. I will miss seeing fall on the greenway, something I saw in great detail last fall.
So this week, I had to find somewhere else to bike. McIntosh Lake, to the north of town, seemed like it might be a decent subsitute. It is partially paved (about a third of it) with the rest being fine gravel. It is a 3.5 mile ride if I do the whole circuit, about a third of what I was doing on the destroyed greenway. The problem with a gravel route is that it is very hard on my bike, and hard also on my back side and my lower back. I have a street bike, and that bumpy gravel path rattles and shakes my bike like nobody's business. As sturdy as it is, this can't be good for it. And three times around the same loop was -- shall I say it -- boring. The other problem with this route is that it is much narrower than the greenway. The greenway is 8-10 feet wide, the McIntosh lake route is about 5 feet wide. There are a lot of walkers (with and without dogs) on it, and getting around them on a narrow path is dangerous for all of us. I'm a little leery of doing this every weekend until the greenway is back in business.
So I am looking at alternatives. There is a bike route near Garden Acres Park, which would add several blocks (and maybe 2.5 miles) to the route around McIntosh Lake. If I started there, went around the lake, and then back to the park, it would be 6 miles. If I did that twice, it would be 12 miles. Upping my mileage is not a problem, as I was starting to feel the greenway was too easy at 10.5 miles. So there is that. I'm still looking for other ways to stay on a paved surface, but not on city streets or highways. We'll see what I come up with. For now, this will have to do. I do need to start earlier in the morning, to avoid as much foot traffic as possible on the new route. I've been getting lazy and getting out at 8 a.m. instead of 7.
In other news, my daughter and I started Zumba classes at FitChicks. Zumba is this generation's Aerobics. I had fun, and it was a decent workout, but I was so consumed by trying to figure out the moves that I didn't get as great a workout as I wished I did. The classes are on Mondays and Wednesday nights, and we will keep doing them as long as we can stand it. The Zumba plus two bike rides a week should help keep me losing weight and getting in better shape. I cannot do any of the jumping with my compromised ankle, but I can still keep moving. It may help me get through the long cold winter, too. I still may join a gym too. There will be days I won't be able to bike because of winter weather or just sheer cold. I need to be prepared for that.
A shot of the bike path where it goes under Martin Street. As you can see, it appears to be intact, just covered in mud and debris.