Vacation day, mental health day, PTO - whatever you call it - today was one of those days. Being family guy with limited free time, I try to grab one of these occasionally to squeeze in a ride and usually meet some friends for lunch. It seems a lot easier to do this while the family is locked into their usual weekday routine, and I don't detract from the usual weekend family time.
The plan was to ride out to Redmond to meet two old friends, Kevin Rupp and Brian Stan, for lunch at El Toreador - my favorite mexican restaurant. It's a nice ride from the house, most of it on the Sammamish River Trail that cuts through Woodinville and Redmond. It's a great trail that runs along the Sammamish Slough, past some open areas, golf courses, a huge sod farm, and other remnants of a less populated Seattle area. It ends at Marymoor Park in Redmond - complete with a velodrome. Yeah - we have some really decent riding here.
When I left the house, it was 32 degrees and sunny. Cold, but beautiful outside. After riding the heavier steel commute bike over the last few weeks - complete with fenders, lights and heavy battery - my carbon Ibis felt incredibly light and smooth. Add in the missing messenger bag that usually hangs off my back and I felt like I lost 50 pounds.
After a fun lunch, complete with chicken tacos and jokes among pals, headed back home - with a quick stop to poke around Sammamish Valley Cycle. I also stopped to take a few pictures, then made it home in time to meet my son walking home from school.
Outside for a few hours on a beautiful day, share good food with friends, cruise 28 miles on the bike, then some family time in the afternoon.
Not a bad day at all.