Macalaster is 700 miles away. Which is a lot of miles. Unfortunately, I can't fly those miles on my newly-acquired winter bingo wings, so training has begun full force. This weekend was the first ride of small epicness to kick off the season -- a sixty-five mile ride to Columbus, through the town on the ever-fabulous People Trail, and back to Franklin. Traveling with our small Franklin CIBA ride group, we were feeling great when we reached Columbus (25 miles in) and loved the next 17 miles through the city. However, on the way back I was unpleasantly surprised by arthritis-induced swelling and soreness. I was a little shocked -- arthritis is usually that constant, background sort of nonsense, always present but rarely jolting like this. However, my dad and fellow riders were incredibly supportive, and after eating tons of plastic bike energy food, I was able to finish the ride -- and consider the first big ride of the season a success!