12 miles down, 88 to go & a new friend named Julio.

Ride #1: 12.24 miles, max speed 19 mph, average speed 9.2 mph. Did I mention I am slow rider? I am also a slow reader. Good thing I am a fast writer. Not in an angry typing sort of way, but in a words roll out of my brain and onto the paper sort of way. It makes up for the snail's pace of my reading and bike riding.

I love and hate riding Lake Murray. I love it's pretty scenery and is surrounded by quaint neighborhoods in La Mesa, Del Cerro and San Carlos. It's a fairly easy ride with only a couple small hills that are more like bumps or mini baby bunny hills. It's 3 miles each way so it's super easy to track. Ride one way and hit the bullseye. Ride back to the parking lot and you've done 6 miles. I wished I could ride the whole way though, but that damn gate won't let me. When I approached the bullseye to take a picture an older man approached me. I wagged my finger at him as if I was the old lady and he were the spry forty something. I said "Whoa dude, keep your distance, Covid." He kindly stepped back and then offered to take my picture in front of the bullseye. Here I am being a social distance police lady and this kind old fella just wanted to help me commemorate the moment. I declined and told myself "Stop being in such a rush. Be here, right now. Embrace this moment" and so I did. After the finger wag and kind gesture to take my picture for me, he proceeded to tell me that he is 80 years old. He lives on 70th street and he rides this path 3 times a week. 70th street is approximately 4 miles away. The 8 mile round trip plus the at least 6 mile ride means this 80 year old rides 14 miles at least 3 times a week and there are some gnarly hills along the way. That is so bad ass. I told him he was my bike riding hero. He said that riding bikes keeps him from watching TV on the couch and out of the doctor's office. I asked him if I could take a picture of him and he said yes.


Julio, my aged bike hero

Here he is at the bullseye on Lake Murray.

I asked him his name,

he said: "Julio".

I said: "It was nice to meet you Julio, thank you for the inspiration"

He said: "don't you want to know my last name?"

I said: "Sure"

He said: "Iglesias"

I sang "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" and then pedaled off. In the distance I could hear old man fake Julio chuckle at the alias he had given and a sense of pride for converting one more bike rider. I am glad I stayed in the moment and didn't brush him off as a Lake Murray path menace.

I rode at 3:30 PM which is nearing the bewitching hour of people. This path is best done between 10 am - 2 pm mid week. It's always busy with people, dogs, nannies, kids and Julios before and after those times during the week. And, on the weekend, forget about it, it's slammed. I avoid this path at all costs on the weekends unless it's before 8 am. Doing the ride at Lake Murray between 6 am - 8 am any day of the week is pure sunrise magic. On my first pass, it wasn't that busy. I encountered a very tall dog walking a very short girl, and two separate old men walking & talking angrily on the telephone with furrowed brows. I imagined them each to be in the east county mob and this trail was their only private place to talk away from their families and do some mob business since they can't be at the pizza parlor due to Covid and all.

On my second pass of the trail, I found myself dodging toddlers that were just learning to walk, a sweet elderly couple holding hands but wandering slowly in the middle of the path--very hard to maneuver around, and shirtless men. No shit. I spotted four different shirtless men running while pushing a child in a stroller. That sure was nice. As I finished the ride and rounded the corner to head up the hill I was met with a shirtless man running while pushing twins. It was amazing. I also encountered 5 separate very very pregnant women walking. It appeared they were attempting to induce their own labors. They did not look as happy as Julio or the shirtless dads.

In a previous post I had requested people to send me their workout playlists. My brother in law sent me his. He and I have very different music tastes. However, I liked this playlist, a lot. I didn't know what was coming next and I was committed to listening to it the entire time so it opened me up to some new music. His running playlist starts with When Worlds Collide (Powerman 5000), Lead Poisoning (Tom Morello), Nobody Speak (Run the Jewels). I wasn't sold on this at first mostly because I had never heard any of these songs before, but I got into it. It was good to kick off the ride with some fast paced angry dude rock. It then merged into a gliders pace with Eminem, Jay Z/Kanye West and Bishop Briggs. I liked that part a lot. In between the bro in law play list I was listening to Marco Polo's with my family which always make me laugh. There was some discussion about a bet that was made and if the rules were, Closest too, or Price is Right Rules which is Closest Too Without Going Over. I don't think that has been resolved yet but it got me through at least a third of the ride which I appreciated.

I finished the ride happy I had bro in-law's play list and all the visual treats along the way. The sun was setting as I left the park and I felt grateful to have Lake Murray so close to my house and that I have limbs to ride and time to do it.

I will do Lake Murray again one more time this week and then will switch it up to a new route next week. If you have a route I should ride or a playlist to share, please DM me on Instagram here . 12.24 miles down and 88 to go to hit 100 miles in 28 days.



Viva La Tour De Palm Springs.

Celebrate the many amazing bike paths of San Diego.

If there are other rides I should be doing or stories to share, let me know, I will chronicle them for all of us. coach@mandigraziano.com Email me anytime.

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