Lesson Learned: Age and Slow-down

Yesterday my husband Mike and I went biking on the Cannon Valley Trail between Cannon Falls and Red Wing, Minnesota. Mike’s initial intent was to bike the entire trail, a 19-mile stretch. I wasn’t sure if I could bike 38 miles. I could count on my hand the number of times I’d been biking this summer so I was skeptical. We compromised and decided that the town of Welch would be a good halfway point and then we could ride around town and see what’s around.

Off we went. We biked ½  mile to get to the trail. The first four miles on the trail we stopped three times. Once was to pay the park fee. Five miles felt like a warm-up. Ten miles wasn’t too bad either when we reached the Welch rest stop – quite the hub for bikers. We rode up the street to downtown and found that it consisted of a three-way stop. I could circle around the intersection to tour the town. At this point, Mike and I decided to ride the trail to the 15-mile mark. As we peddled off, Mike made an observation. We hadn’t passed one rider on the trail. Everyone else had passed us.

This wasn’t the first time Mike noticed we weren’t the ‘passers’. For almost 17 years we walked during our lunch hour – be it cemeteries, parks, or the downtown skyway system. When we first started walking through the skyways, we would zip through the buildings at full walking speed. We’d move to and fro passing people left and right. And then a couple years ago our pace slowed. Now it’s about half and half ratio of us being the passers.

Yes, we had slowed down. Our bike riding and our walking hasn’t been so fast-paced, not like it used to be. One can only assume that age is a factor.

For our bike ride, we went a little beyond the 15-mile marker to eat our snacks at the wetland observation deck. I knew the ride back was going to be a challenge. After riding the 15 miles, I started to feel it in my butt, thighs, and legs. We rode at a faster pace so we could get to the winery before they closed. I hoped my knee wouldn’t give out as we kept riding with fewer stops. We passed three groups of bikers on the way back.Yes! We were happy.


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