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I’ve been super busy over the past couple days (more details to come), but I just wanted to give an update on how much I’ve been biking and where.

On Wednesday, my dad and I biked across the bridge over 29 to my friend Kelsey’s neighborhood, which is next to the Hickory Ridge Village Center.  Then, we went the long (but easy) way back, which is down Owen Brown Road to Martin Road.  It’s pretty much all the way down hill, which is wonderful.

On Thursday, the two of us went on our longest ride yet.  Over 29 again, but this time through my friend Bonnie’s neighborhood, which is farther from Atholton High at the top of Owen Brown Road, and from there took some bike paths behind the park that we had never seen before.  This took us to HCC, where we biked all around their athletic fields and stopped for a few minutes to watch A team tryouts.  That was the first time I watched live soccer since I had to stop playing, and I forgot how much I really used to love it.  It was such a big part of my life for so long.  Maybe I’ll try to join an intramural team sometime.  On the way home, we went down Owen Brown, but turned on Audobon instead of Martin.  Then, we biked up and down every side street until we got to Martin, admiring the weird gardens and even weirder architecture.  Every house on Audobon is unique, and strange colors and shapes abound.

Friday probably should have been a rest day since it was after a super long ride, but instead we went a little over 8 miles, and did the steepest hill we’ve encountered yet.  It’s behind Atholton High School, and it’s called Guilford Road going one way and Harriet Tubman the other way (weird, huh?).  As we were whizzing down the hill to get to the Robinson Nature Center, I couldn’t help thinking “Dear God I hope dad wants to go up Cedar Lane to go home”.  Cedar Lane is a long hill, but it’s a baby compared to this.  Of course he didn’t.  In his defense, Cedar does get a lot more traffic, and at least Harriet Tubman has a lot of tree cover.  My legs were positively burning on the way back up, and I was in the lowest gear.  It was a good thing we had already taken a break at Robinson, which is a new nature conservatory, to look around.  (An old lady donated a ton of land to the county when she died on the condition that it would be a nature park.)  We took a walk down a very steep hill, under a bridge, and found the ruins of the Simpsonville Mill.  I guess a very long time ago Columbia used to be called Simpsonville because our post office is still called the Simpsonville post office. As is tradition, we stopped at the Atholton Park on the way home – the hill on Donleigh is pretty tough so it is a nice challenge to finish off with.

Saturday morning could technically be called a rest day.  We woke up early (for me anyway) and biked a little over a mile to Hammond High School, where we walked 2.5 miles on the track.  They’re putting in artificial turf there and at Atholton this summer, and it was pretty noisy – they were taking all of the excess dirt off this morning. Yum.  After 10 laps, we biked home and tried to get some feeling back into our legs.  I hadn’t been sore after biking before, but Thursday and Friday are really starting to get to me.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I think we’re going to bike to Savage Mill again – more hills!