After a week of no biking, a staccato of short trips. I am going to break with format and enter them all in one post.
Ride Log 082212, Wednesday
We had a brief period of time after lunch and before swim lessons to make our way to the library. Ike was very excited to try out his new bike helmet that had arrived the previous day. His old helmet was obviously way too small and I wanted to be sure he had one that fit correctly before our trip to the Oregon Coast. After looking at Bell, Nutcase, and Giro, he picked the Giro Kid’s Rascal Bike Helmet in black with red flames. I think the flashing LEDs was the big selling factor, though Ike does like to stop and fiddle with them a little more than I would like.
The ride to the library is barely is ride is we are going straight there and back and especially when I ride behind the boy. It is slow going and barely pedaling, but we are out enjoying the neighborhood and get to stop for blackberries along the way.
Ride Log 082312, Thursday
I had to do some work in the morning, but I promised Ike that we would go out later and have some fun. He chose a bike ride, new helmet again being the motivating factor, and that made me very pleased. After not riding for a week, it was good to get out two days in a row. We circuited our favorite loop and then took a longer route home to stop at a favorite blackberry bush. They were much riper than our last visit and tasted like pie. I put a few handfuls in my basket to enjoy later while Ike stained his face and hands purple.
Ride Log 082512, Saturday
Just a quick ride to a meeting. We discussed the allergy of addiction and spiritual, emotional, and physical recovery. I feel so in action today. It was a great start to a busy day of packing. Tomorrow, we are off to stay in a yurt on the Oregon Coast for a week. Josh made a great bike rack to carry three bikes plus the tagalong. Lists need to be made and food and supplies all need to be gathered and loaded. So much to do, so this will be kept short. Catch you on the flip-side.
It seemed like a battle to get out of the house. I wanted to scream, “Let’s go have some fun, goddammit!” I was also ready to just let the whole venture go, tired of pushing my will. at that point, Ike exclaimed he DID want to go for a bike ride after protesting for the previous half-hour. Josh and I said the serenity pray and desire for harmony prevailed.
The last time we rode the Larry Scott Trail, we stopped every few feet to urge Ike along. He was riding his own bike and kept wanting a push. I didn’t really notice the subtle incline because we stopped so often. On Sunday, Josh was pulling the tagalong and is was steady pedaling, a continuous effort. I understood the complaints of my 5 year-old as my legs began to hurt. This slow climb was kicking my ass. I am used to a pedal-coast-pedal-coast method around my neighborhood. I am rewarded with a little rewards after a little effort. But not on the trail. I felt my weight and my weakness as my legs felt like they were churning butter.
After about a mile and a half, there is a short stretch of little rolling hills, a quick up-down that I looked to with relief. Finally, a moment of respite. But looking beyond, the train continued to climb and I felt that it was time to turn back.
On the return, I realized in was all uphill, even the parts I thought were flat. Coming down was awesome! I put my bike in high gear and kept pedaling enjoying the breeze and the view. The hillside was covered with different shades of purple: wild peas, thistles, salal berries.Straight ahead, the peninsula juts out into the bay littered with sailboats and the ferry coming and going from town.
I though about my ride and how it is related to recovery and my path through life. Pedal-coast-pedal coast makes for a very pleasant journey but, slow steady climbing might give a greater reward.
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 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.
I am not very inspired to write this evening but I went on a short ride this afternoon, finally, and I do not want to get behind again last week.I was on a writer’s high there for a moment and have ideas for posts, but nothing I want to flesh out now. I am using the logs as there are meant to be used, as a device to get me to show up at the page. So here I am, writing the words.
Around the corner from our house, there is a bike on a roof. I didn’t believe Ike when he first spotted it; thought it was his silly humor. Was it was just stored up there to be out-of-the-way or so it would not get stolen.? Day after day, it never moved, rain or shine. I have been meaning to take a picture of it, but kept forgetting until I had already gone past and landed at home. Today I remembered before just passing it by. There was a women in front of the house and for a moment, introvert that I am, I felt like we should just keep going. But instead I asked her about it. Turns out they found it while doing a landscaping job and had left it outside one day. When they came home it was up on the roof. Someone had played a gag on them and they never brought the bike back down. Ike thought it was silly to have a bike on a roof. It looks like a nice bike, too bad no one is riding it.
That it is today’s story, just a bike on a roof, a conversation with a neighbor, a silly picture. What absurdities have you noticed today?