So back when I thought I might be a runner before figuring out it hurt my shoulder (don’t ask), I followed that Couch to 5K program to the letter, and it worked. Where’s the training program for the ten mile communte through hills both ways? Because that’s what I need. J. drove me and the rental bike to campus today, I did a few paperwork things, and then it was time to practice the commute back to the city. It started with a 3/4 of a mile ride up the incline of the aptly-named Hilltop Circle and then a right on the busy Wilkens Avenue. That offered some downhill respite, thank goodness, until another slow climb up Caton Avenue, where the traffic scared the pants off me, and I actually got off the bike and walked–I’d rather be safe than sorry. And then all of the sudden I was at the head of the Gwynns Falls Parkway, no cars allowed! How wonderful! I happily pedaled along the paved trail, stopping to take pictures like this one, of green walls hiding water and falls. Is this part of my commute, really, I thought. Turns out, no, so I turned back and retraced my steps and was back on the road with cars speeding by as I huffed and puffed my way to North Avenue. One guy shouted from his stoop on Fulton that I would catch more of a breeze if I just pedaled faster. Excellent plan, sir, but not one I am yet able to follow. Pedal, pedal, pedal, buy a bottle of water from a guy on a corner–aid stations!–take a right, take another right, take a right, and I was back at the bike shoppe, returning my rental, rehydrating, and after all that, feeling surprisingly good. It took me forever, and ithe traffic got a little nuts at times, but I did it, and I can do it again. But I am going to need to be patient and to practice. Project, yay!