ITRYathlon 

So much of my ITRYathlon training experience has been a challenge; stretching myself to run for miles and learning how to swim. My efforts on the track and in the pool may have been a bit of a struggle..

...but my time on the bike has been pure pleasure. 

ITRYathlon

It's the one part of this journey that feels familiar, the one thing I could do right away.

Every time I  hop on my bike, I'm instantly transported back in time.

Suddenly it's the summer of 1975 and I'm flying down the hill on Poplar Street. My favorite Chicago song is playing on my AM radio and the wind is fluttering through the plastic rainbow streamers on my handlebars.

Saturday in the Park...I think it was the 4th of July...

ITRYathlon

Back then, riding my bike meant freedom.

It was a chance to pedal out of the driveway and see the world beyond my street, even if I only made it as far as Hank's Corner for a fresh supply of Pez

.

Now, when I train on my bike, I feel that same sense of release. For fifty minutes, no one can catch me. I am off the grid and out on the street, flying as fast as my legs can pedal.

 Of the three parts of the ITRYathlon, biking is the one that I can easily imagine continuing after race day.

ITRYathlon

After all, I live in a very bike friendly town.

Irvine has more than 280 miles of on-road bike lanes and 44 miles off-road bike trails. In fact, there are so many trails that it's possible to ride your bike from base of the Santa Ana Mountains all the way to the sea.

ITRYathlon 

Certainly enough trails for me to find new adventures and escape for awhile.