Today was the first really nice day in Duluth. It was sunny and 82 with a nice breeze and a touch of humidity, about as perfect as a warm day in Duluth can be. So to celebrate I went mobile (see previous post about GOAL 298). First a short update on my GOAL 298 progress. May went well, I made my walking goals (plus a couple of mile) and blew past my 10lb target to a loss of 20 pounds. This was good because the first two weeks of June were full of thick crust pizzas, Chicago dogs, and hometown favorites (see Best Road Trip Ever). This put me back a few pounds, but with a week of being back home and on a routine I had lost the extra plus a couple of pounds. I’m still hoping that I can met the goal for June (my target is 10 pounds a month), and it looks like I’m getting close. Even with the recently cruddy weather in Duluth I’ve been pounding out miles and eating lots of salads. Since today was such an extraordinary day I thought I would push things a bit. This morning I went out on the boat to do some science. And while I was hanging out near a waste water treatment plant, instead of the big blue lake, it was still nice to be on the water when I wasn’t freezing, wet and cold. Today was a bit wet (seats were wet and soaked my shoes putting the boat on the trailer) but I wouldn’t have traded today for any of our previous boat excursions. I went home to eat lunch and find some dry shoes, and I decided I would bike back to work. Having not biked in a couple of years, it was a little wobbly. Duluth is pretty hilly and even getting to the 500ft downhill run was a lot of exertion for me. I got to the top of the hill and started bombing down, only to have visions of major road rash keep popping into my head (I was wearing a helmet as I’ve invested too much in my brain – academically and medically – to have it crushed while biking). I rode the brakes pretty hard, but even with that I was going faster than I really was comfortable with while on two wheels. At the bottom of the hill I stopped at the light and went to squeeze my brakes only to find that they weren’t operational. Turns out I have fancy brakes and after riding them for a ¾ of a mile downhill they need a minute to reset. I wasn’t daunted, I just headed for the nice “flat” lake walk trail. It wasn’t as flat as I had envisioned and I was huffing and puffing, with legs burning but I didn’t have to stop. I made it all the way to work (4.9 miles) on my bike, the only problem with that was that I made it all the way to work on my bike (and Duluth is built on a cliff).
So after work I set out. My legs were burning early this time. As it turns out you use a whole different set of muscles walking versus biking. I pushed through it, keeping up a good pace for 34 blocks, at which point I had to leave the relatively flat lake walk and make it up hill, if I was going to make it home. Knowing full well the likelihood of a slow speed crash, I walked the bike up hill. I changed 500 feet in elevation in 6 blocks (0.6 miles). Up I walked, again huffing and puffing (but this time I did have to stop). Having sweated through my second shirt of the day I made it home. Once home I took the opportunity to sit in my lake view window and enjoy the breeze, until Rio reminded me that she had a lot of energy that she needed to burn off. So off we went for a walk, where we picked up the intrepid Sara Lee, and walked a couple of miles through the neighborhood. While there wasn’t really anything spectacular going on, the view of the wind rippling big lake was pretty fantastic. So the totals for today were 10 miles on a bike and 3 miles on foot, pretty good for a Monday. I hope the weather hold out, but I’m not holding my breath. Cheers for now.