A long ride was on my calendar today, so even though I really just wanted to laze on my couch and watch college basketball and looking at cats, I strapped the Surly onto my car and drove us out to BWI for a ride around the airport and off toward Annapolis. I’ve already figured out that 2-3 hours on the bicycle’s a teensy bit boring, especially when you’re treading the same ground you did three days ago, so I put some podcasts on my portable listening box to take along with me. I also put some gloves in the bag, and the 37 degree temps before windchill made me happy I made that particular choice. I parked in the MARC/Amtrak parking lot, took the elevator down to the ground floor, and set off. Less than 2 miles in and I realized this was going to be a tough one. My legs felt heavy, and I just wasn’t in the mood, but I’m pretty stubborn, so I just kept on my way, pedaling slowly but surely around the airport, past the tiny park on Dorsey Road, and over to the start of the B&A Trail. I decided to just go 15 miles out and 15 miles back to break the 30 mile mark, so off I went, listening to my stories and counting daffodils. I climbed a tiny hill around the 11th mile where the trail crosses 6 lanes, and as I reached the top I saw a man holding the back of a bicycle as a woman sat unsteadily, gripping the handlebars, unwilling to turn her legs. I slowed waaaay down, gently informed them I was going to be passing on their left, and watched the whole scene fall apart. She wobbled with alarm, he grabbed her and the bicycle to help keep her upright, and I apologized for causing such alarm. On my ride back I stopped to snap a picture of this sign dangling in the trees; it’s a speed limit sign for bicyclists–15 miles an hour. Oh, that will be absolutely no problem, not at all, I thought to myself, much easier than you figuring out how to get out of the trees, dear sign. And then I saw that woman on the bike, this time pedaling away, and that man who had been holding the bike upright this time running to catch up with her. How sweet it is! I shouted my congratulations and we parted all smiles. And then I made it back to my car, thinking it’s probably time for a few short rides and a rest before the next long one. Ride and learn, I say.