I managed to get two bike rides in this week. The weather is finally moderating, giving us some spring-like temps. This had been a long, cold winter.
Thursday promised to be near 70 degrees, so I took off from work. We are in the process of finding a new rental house, too, so I did things related to that, too. At the warmest point in the afternoon I, I put the bike rack back on my car and loaded up the Trek, and away I went.
I drove to Golden Ponds, which reopened a couple weeks ago after some flood repairs were complete. This area links to the Lykins Gulch area, which would give me somewhat of a trail to ride. It's not the whole Greenway, or even the full run of the Greenway that I usually ride, but from the Ponds to the airport, then east to Rogers Grove, around Fairgrounds Lake, and back to the Ponds gave me 6.5 miles. Considering I've not done a full 10 miles since last September, I'll take it. Where there was gravel, there was mud, and where there was pavement, there was still a lot of mud. As the trail runs mostly along the river, and the river overflowed its banks and cut itself a completely new path, there was bound to be mud.
There is also great destruction. The river bed is scoured out, down to the rock and gravel, and many trees are marked for removal or already removed. One particular spot near Rogers Grove, where the river made a lazy turn and there was a wonderful little sandy beach where kids and dogs would play in the water, is now nothing but overturned trees and the river completely rerouted. If I had not known where that spot was, I wouldn't have been able to recognize it from its new look. The river itself has become more of a slough - shallow, spread out into multiple small channels. How it will ever look like a river again, I don't know. Rather heartbreaking to see. All that wonderful scenery is gone, changed forever.
But this part of the trail is intact, thankfully, even the underpass at Hover Road. That, at least, made it feel more normal. Thursday I rode in 60-degree temps with cloudy skies, but no wind. Today I rode in 75 degree temps, clear sky, and a brisk wind. I am so out of shape, but I pushed myself through the wind, grunting all the way. It felt good to be on my bike again. It felt good to be doing what I love, even if it is in a shortened space.
Our city people promise the entire Greenway will be repaired within the next two years. As parts are repaired, more will be opened. But seeing what I saw on my rides this week tells me that there is an overwhelming amount to be done. One pedestrian/bike bridge I encountered was still grounded on the far side, but on the near side it is just hanging there, yards from the concrete it should have been touching. Entire portions of the Greenway have been overrun and completely destroyed. You can't even see where it used to be. Repairs are going to be a daunting task.
But even so, I'll take it. I have missed it, and the bike rides this week have made me feel a whole lot better. Sore, but definitely better.