After work I did 25 miles on the bike path, which brings my seven-day total to 87 miles. That's the second best seven-day total I've ever done. My record is 98 miles, set in 1993! Woo hoo! Of course I won't be able to keep it up. We just passed the latest sunset of the summer, and pretty soon I won't be able to two hour rides after work. Unless I get a headlamp. Also, my legs and ass are really sore.
My time was again excellent (for me), partly because I did the first half of the last lap with a guy chasing me. I should explain. When I started my third lap another guy had headed out onto the path just ahead of me. He was riding at about the same pace as I was, but I really didn't feel like riding directly behind this guy for three miles. So I passed him. And then he started to speed up. I really didn't want to get into a situation where we were constantly passing each other, so I sped up, too. This went on for about two and half miles, until by the end of the uphill, I finally was far enough ahead to relax a bit before I turned around. What was really funny about it was that his cadence (the speed at which he pedaled) was much, much slower than mine, so it looked like he was just riding along easily, while I was pedaling away like crazy. To an independent observer, it might have looked like a chase from a Pepe LePew cartoon, with me as the cat scrambling to get away, and the other guy as Pepe, just following along as easy as can be... Except that he never did catch me. (Not that he was trying to catch me. I just didn't want him to pass me.)
After the chase was done, and I started heading back to towards Kingston, I realized how focused I had been on the chase. Usually when I ride, I'm on autopilot, thinking about everything but the ride itself, especially if it's a route I'm familiar with. It's nice being able to have the time to think, although sometimes it gives me too much time to think. In that one stretch, though, I was in a competition, and it was like being back on the softball field, and I realized how much I miss that competitive focus. And then I was back on autopilot, reminiscing about softball championships won. (Cue "Glory Days"...)
Oh, and there were ferrets. On the first lap as I was starting up the hill, four (apparently) feral ferrets popped out of the woods in front of me. I guess they were intending to cross the path, but they ducked back into the woods when I rode by. I'd never seen ferrets in the wild before.