I've just finished another bicycle ride. This ride was 21.9 miles, according to my GPS receiver.
I live close to the halfway point (as far as I know) of a 20 or so mile bike/walking trail that winds through the Kansas City suburbs of Olathe, Overland Park, and Leawood. This trail stays close to Indian Creek for most of its length, and they on the far Eastern End, it follows a tributary called Tomahawk Creek (gee, what imaginative names). So I can hop on the trail and ride around 10 miles in either direction and then back along the same route. This time, I rode East. The Eastern end of the trail used to end at the bridge where Tomahawk passes under Roe Avenue. I've driven over this bridge, from time to time, and I've always glanced over at the end of the trail to see if the City of Leawood was going to extend it, and recently, it looked like they had. So I've been looking forward to a chance to ride to the end to check it out. It turns out that another mile of trail has been added, so that it now ends at the Nall Avenue bridge over Tomahawk Creek. All three suburbs have been extending their networks of trails over the years, and I'm hoping they will keep adding onto this end of this particular trail. The other end may not lend itself well to extension, but I think the area in Leawood could support at least another mile of trail.
22 miles feels pretty close to my limit, for now. At about mile 16, I started slowing down quite a bit. Determination was enough to get me home, but when I got here, I was having trouble with simple things like maneuvering my bike so that the pedal didn't catch on the door frame and keep me from rolling it inside. It may be a while before I come back to the halfway point on the trail and am prepared to ride out in the other direction.
I have a Polar heart rate monitor, now (thanks, lightning_rose, for the recommendation), and got my first chance to play with it, on this ride. It lets me enter my birth date, and it makes a recommendation for the range of heart rates I should try to maintain. At 144 beats per minute, it emits this tiny little beep, to tell me to easy off, a bit. At first, I didn't even hear it. I got used to listening for it, after a while, although if my wrist is turned away (it's basically like a watch), I can't really hear it at all. At the top of the biggest hill on the Eastern route, it showed my heart rate at 160 bpm, but in each direction, by the time I got to the foot of the hill on the other side, my heart rate has dropped back down into the acceptable range, which is probably about what it should do.
Now, I just need to make sure I keep up the rides and get some other exercise between rides.