For the past couple of days I have been struggling with sleepiness, which might just be from all the cold, rainy weather. I don't know. But after work I decided to get aggressive with it. I tested out my bike shorts! They work really well under my jeans, and make a real difference in my comfort level on the bike.
Not far along the "river front bike path" portion of my ride, I encountered: barricades. They blocked all access to the path, and bore a big sign that said "sidewalk closed." Grrr. It's not a sidewalk! And why is it closed?! Looking ahead, I could see THREE sets of barricades - I have no idea what the point was of the middle set. The path LOOKED fine. But...I try not to assume that rules are made for real reasons and not just to muck up my day. So I went with the assumption that something I couldn't see was an issue, and that I needed to not just walk my bike around the barricades and stay on the path.
BUT. I wasn't willing to turn around. So...I did something I absolutely wouldn't have had the nerve to do, this time last year: I walked Lulu down the steep embankment, which was covered in all sizes of rocks. We went slowly and it took quite awhile, but it didn't scare me at all - that's a new development. When we got to the bottom, I rode her through some mud and some weeds and some puddles across some kind of industrial area, cutting across to avoid the closed bike path. I'm not 100% sure I was allowed to do that, but there was no fence and I wasn't planning to hurt anything, and most importantly, I NEEDED TO GET TO THE 17TH STREET HILL. The way there was NOT backward!
Fun fact: I rode about 50 feet further up that hill than I have been able to do before. I'm gaining on it! I really, really want to conquer that sucker while it's still 2011. If I keep pressing in and the weather holds, I think I can do it.
And if I don't make it before year's end...I'm still gonna make it. End of story.