|Bike rack, good for holding pack, sign good for locking up bike|
I bike often, but haven't been walking or hiking much, so I need to get some miles into my two feet to prep for some longer summer hikes coming up. With this crazy beautiful weather we're having (65 degrees early this morning?? In Phoenix in late May?? Crazy), I decided to combine the biking with the hiking, and ride to the trail. It's not a long distance, nor is this trail very difficult, although one can turn any ride, and any hike, into a workout depending on pace. With the uphill ride to the trail, I pushed it, and also made the hike a workout by keeping my heart rate up.
I did this ride to trail 8A and hike before, and posted about it here. The theory I developed on today's hike is that the reason women outlive men, as evidenced by average life expectancy, is that women hike this trail 8A as a workout in much greater numbers than males. Giving the handful of males I saw on the trail the secret man sign (head nod, mumble "hey") felt like an acknowledgement of our shared inferior lifespans, while being humbled by all the females out there flaunting their longer lifespans while outnumbering male hikers three to one.
Maybe the males are doing other trails, Piestewa Peak, Camelback, or rock climbing. The guys sprinting up Camelback in 20 minutes would scoff at 8A, I'm certain. But I'm in this for the long haul, not like some nitro-burning funny car drag racing time trial trail runner, but rather more like a long distance cyclist, hitting a pace, maintaining it, hanging out with the longer-lived gender. Although a bike-to-hike up Camelback may be next...
|Rock veins, along the trail|
I want to do something like this every day. Maybe not taking the time to bike+hike, but some form of exercise that gets my heart rate up, and outdoors, in the real, physical world. Commuting by bicycle is the minimum version. Doing this changes everything, and not doing it leaves me feeling blah. Note to self: when feeling blah, get on bike and ride to a trail where there are big chunks of white quartz with complex black veins running through.
|Trying out the very light hiking shoes, the ventilation was nice, anyway|
|Bee visiting saguaro blossoms|
|Camelback Mountain, possible next bike-to-hike|
All glory, including bike-to-hike type, is fleeting. But what a great way to clear the mind and get the heart rate into the target zone.