Just a quick trip to the library. I had planned a longer bike ride in the morning, but sometimes it is necessary to go with the flow of the five-year old. Ike’s choice of morning activity was to play in the backyard and eventually climb the fence into that of our neighbors. We didn’t get on our bikes until after lunch and the coolness of the morning fog was long gone. We took books back to the library and were going to tool around in the primary school parking lot, but firefighters were holding some sort of training there. Instead, we took the long way home. Ike was weaving out of the bike lane more than usual and even tried to cross over when he changed his mind on what route we were going to take. I was chanting a constant refrain of “stay to the right” and “look where you are pedaling.” I really love riding around with him, but I enjoy it more on roads where we don’t have to worry about cars much and I can ride along side of him. Maybe I need to get a book or show some video on bike/road safety to him. Any suggestions?
I could have stayed in today and continued to write. I could have worked on the piece about my bike history. I could have journaled more, answered a profile questionnaire from a favorite blog, done some writing exercises, collected words. But then I thought about what I am trying to do here: not just write but ride. I am not just using this practice as a way to inspire my writing but also am using my writing to inspire my riding. I needed to get moving on my bike
It was my first aimless ride in a while. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go when I pushed my bike out of the garage. Did I want to try to tackle that hill or go on a longer ride? I decided to head down to Chimacum Corner the back way, just like our ride to the Farmers’ Market. The road in its most pleasant aspect is pure country, lots of sky and scenery. A rolling empty road, though just parallel is the much more busy thoroughfare. I dodged dragonflies and swallows, smelled the wildflowers, passed a yard full of turkeys, and felt the sunshine seep into my forearms. I wish the setting was as serene the whole way, but that road merges into the other and, after the turn at the corner market, I head back along the highway.
I didn’t stop at the market. Just continued along the highway.It would be scarier if it weren’t for the nice, wide bike lanes. There is some road work in process, but luckily not at that moment. It is a long stretch. I was getting tired. I forgot my water. It was hot but, at least, there was shade and a cool breeze. My skirt kept riding up but I was wearing leggings so I wasn’t too concerned. I kept pedaling, grateful for the flat road. Then, the turn and a glorious coast downhill. Perfect. I stopped at the library for water. My legs were sore and a little wobbly. I walked my bike for half a block for the stretch and rest before hopping back on. Just a short ride more and I was home. Almost 5 miles, my longest solo journey. I should do this 2-3 times a week. I could incorporate errands. I would like to pull Ike on his Trail-a-Bike or get some sort of passenger deck. But for now, I will keep it simple and ride.
I don’t know what to write about my short ride this morning. It was good to get out in the cool morning and I couldn’t tell if the fog was going to burn off or turn to rain. I love the changeable northwest weather where sunshine is the surprise and when it shines, it shines. I rode down to the meeting. I was late because I decided to make gluten-free buckwheat waffles and eat some too. I ruminated over the past week and feel really go about all the action I took. I made a meal plan for the whole week with made food issues really simple; I was able to devote a good chunk of time writing; I went to bed and woke up early; I did fun things with Isaac and was able to have good conversations with Josh; I was able to be of service and complete a project; I paid the bills; and I was able to do a little cleaning. I would have liked riding my bike more, but I can blame the rain.
I can’t believe it has taken me two days to post this…Thursday was a hot sunny day between two rainy ones. I was determined to get out and go for a ride. I picked up Ike from camp, did a few things around the house, waited for him to take care of some business, then, finally, hopped on the bikes around 2:30. The breeze from riding was nice, but it was still quite warm so we rode to a favorite shady street. Wanting to stretch out the ride a bit, I asked Ike if he wanted to go surprise grandma. With an enthusiastic “yes,” we turned right instead of left and headed to my mom’s.
It is a great thing having my mother a mile away. She is the primary babysitter, cat sitter, house sitter. She is available on a moment’s notice and usually helps with the dishes. She will run to the store for us when we are sick or stay (and play) with Ike if I need to go to a meeting. I am often impatient with her and she pushes buttons like only a mother can, but I am very grateful to her and her relationship with Ike. He loves to visit her tiny, cluttered ADU and find treasures in her jewelry box and water her flower boxes.
When we arrived at her house, Ike went to the door and pretended he rode his bike there alone. She wasn’t fooled, but gave a good response anyway. We stayed for a moment to cool down, then headed back home. Ike was hot and tired on the return so we took a more direct route. When we arrived home, Ike’s BFF came over. We ran through the sprinklers, made rainbows, drank ice-water and enjoyed summer.
Not much to report and no photo. I took a quick ride to the store because I needed to get out of my head: parental worries and financial fear. Earlier, I had locked my keys in the car when I dropped Ike off at farm camp. Hurray for AAA. Would love to be able to ride Ike to camp as it is not too far, but there is a hill I need to conquer. The route is on the highway and I don’t think Ike is ready for that yet so I would need to use the tagalong, which I haven’t even tried to pull myself yet. It won’t happen this week, but maybe by September when he starts kindergarten at the same location.
(I have decided to change the naming convention for the Ride Logs so they have more meaningful title, the date will now be the subhead)
Ride Log 071412b
It turned out to be a beautiful day after the storm. We always seem to have sunny weather for Hadlock Days. The parade started at 1:00 p.m. and Ike and I decided to ride our bikes down. Grandma drove her car as she wasn’t up for walking (otherwise we all would have) and she doesn’t have a bike. We met at the post office to park and lock up our bikes. It was the ideal place. We were a little late, but we still caught some floats and fire trucks, and Ike was able to gather plenty of candy. We walked to the festivities and checked out the bouncy castle, but it was hot so we decided to go home to play in the sprinklers. As we were walking back to the post office, Josh called and our plans changed to a trip to the beach so Josh could free-dive for some crab. Ike was tired so he wanted to ride home in grandma’s car. We were putting his bike in the back when Josh rode up and he and I were able to have our first ride alone together.
I hate when I don’t write when the inspiration hits. Usually it is due to lack of opportunity. On Saturday, my mom came over to watch Ike (Josh was working) and I was able to ride to the 9:00 a.m. meeting at the hall. That was just the beginning a very active, fun-filled day. Already, what I was going to write about is slipping away as it the inspiration becomes more of a memory than a call to action.
The topic of the For Today reading was facing one’s fears. I was struck with the synchronicity of my bicycle journey and the journey of recovery. Biking forces me to confront many of my fears and ride through them: fear of looking good; fear of someone stealing my stuff; fear of falling, being hit by car, of getting hurt. Every time, I get on the saddle, I take action to move through my fear.
The meeting hall is in the basement of a building and is accessible in the back at the bottom of a kinda steep hill paved with gravel. In these two months that I have been riding, I have walked my bike down the hill. Too afraid of my brakes skidding and causing me to fall. When I was 10 years-old and first relearned how to ride a bike (if I ever really did know how when I was 5, maybe I always had training wheels), I ate it pretty hard on gravel, skinning my right elbow and knee. I still have faint scars. On Saturday, before reading this passage, I finally felt confidant to ride down it. I trusted myself and my bike to make it down unscathed.