Many years ago I lived on Long Island in Suffolk County, NY. I have always been an avid bike rider and I recall a personal best where I rode solo for 42 miles. I don’t recall how I did the first half of the ride, but I took a beach road most of the way back.

I visited the beach on my bicycle at least once a week back then. I occasionally commuted to work 18 miles each way also. I even did Bike New York several times, but I remember that one day especially clear. Perhaps it was because I didn’t plan it or perhaps it was that I didn’t have to wait for others in my group to catch up. That day was just a magical day.

When I moved to Texas, I lived in Dallas. Dallas is a huge city and many streets have good clean shoulders that are excellent for riding. The drivers seem to be experienced enough not to get too close and to give riders the right of way at intersections. I think it is more dangerous to drive a car in Dallas than a bicycle.

Some ares of North Dallas had bicycle trails. They usually follow the utility right of way of those huge electric towers that carry high power lines. There are really long sections of wide cement and asphalt areas which allow pedestrians and bicyclists to share a road free of motorized vehicles.

I remember some fond rides in Dallas, but that day along the beach road is still a personal favorite. Since I moved to Stephenville, TX, I don’t ride at all. I tried it a few times, but I needed to take the bike some place safe to ride. Stephenville is little bitty rural town of around 15,000 people. I love living here.

I like being able to see a matinee for $2.25 located all the way across town; About a 15 minute commute if I catch all the lights. I had to go past the theater recently to get to the lawn mower repair shop. I didn’t leave the park (I live in a mobile home park) until about 4:40pm. The shop closed at 5:00pm. I said, “Howdy,” paid for the repairs and picked up my lawn mower before they closed. I’d have never gotten out of my subdivision in Dallas.

There are a few trade-offs, but I like Stephenville very much. Still, I often think of that day on the beach road. I remember stopping at a convenience store near the end of the ride and buying 3 candy bars (2 Snickers and Three Musketeers Bar). I also got one of those fruity Gatorade-like drinks. I think it was a Power-Aid.

I don’t remember eating the candy bars, but I do remember that didn’t last long. The drink fit into my water bottle carrier. That was the only stop I made that day. Well, today, I was reminded of that ride. I did a personal best on my stationary bicycle. I have been wondering what happened when it got past 99:59 (99 minutes and 59 seconds). Now I know.

I don’t know who, if anyone reads this blog, but I assume you have little idea of who I am. I suffer form one of those rare diseases no one knows about. It’s upper respiratory and is most often called Loeffler’s Syndrome. My doctor and I keep it under control with prednisone. Prednisone is a cortico-steroid. It is used in many applications including arthritis and heart disease.

It really arrests the symptoms of my disease. Basically, it acts as a super powerful anti-inflammatory, shrinking the excess white blood cells which malfunction in my lungs. Prolonged steroid use has some nasty side effects. It tends to atrophy certain glands. It interferes with the bodies metabolism of fats and sugars and it results in an effect known as Moon Face, where your head becomes more rounded and your neck get thicker.

So, I tend to go through office chairs rather quickly. Cheap chairs are only rated for a measly 250 pounds max. (You know, little tiny people. Not us normal sized people.) I spend most of my time trying to find ways to make money sitting on my buttocks, so office chair (and riding lawn mower seat) comfort is paramount.

Anyway, today was a personal best on the boring old, no wind in my hair, stationary bicycle. During most of the ride I kept thinking back about a ride I did on a beach road on Long Island. It was a perfect day …