I remembered to bring $3
I had a chance and I took it. I drove down to Council Bluff so I could put some real mileage in. I didn't do much of the lake loop. I had my sights set on the Middlefork split.
My plan was to ride out 15 miles and turn around. Along the way, most of the creeks were full of water. Not Raging Rivers sort of water, but plenty enough to make them tricky and get my shoes wet. The trail surface, however, was unparalleled. It was in fantastic shape. A few trees down, a couple of them were huge. I was feeling pretty good at 14 miles, and I figured I'd go an extra mile or so, maybe to 16. Then I ran into Doug and Sunny, who had their own crew out on a ride. They were going the opposite direction.
I pedaled on and right at 15 miles I had the sense to turn around. It had taken me exactly 1.5 hours...10mph average speed. At that pace, I would be finished right at the 3 hour mark. That's long for me, and I was going pretty good.
The way back started very well. I was thinking I might go beyond the 10mph average. I met back up with Doug and Sunny, now going the same direction as me. Doug was flying so I sped up to stay with him....and THERE was the mistake. I went into the red zone. He peeled back to get the rest of his crew and I bade him farewell.
From that point, about 7 or 8 miles to go, I suffered. I made it back to Council Bluff and could not have been happier to see my car.
It was, however, still awesome. 30 miles, 10mph average. Lots and lots of calories burned.