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.
We started the day with gluten-free buckwheat waffles, one wheat-less recipe that my whole family enjoys. If interested, the recipe can be found here. I use honey instead of agave and add a little extra. I have used walnut oil and grapeseed oil with good results and have added a touch a cardamom. I skip the sunflower seeds They are yummy with homemade preserves and a drizzle of yogurt.
Since we went to the county fair the previous night and Josh wanted to start welding our bike rack so we can take our bikes on our Oregon Coast vacation in a couple of weeks, no big family outing was planned. We decided on our default Sunday outing and rode down to the Farmers’ Market. Josh took Ike on the Trail-a-Bike while a I trailed behind at a slower pace. We didn’t plant a garden this year, so we needed to stock up on summer greens. We also scored a bunch of cheap apricots from the corner farm stand to make jam.
We stayed just long enough to hydrate and try some black currant italian ice (made from local black currants, yum! so refreshing) then started back along the highway with my basket and Josh’s backpack full. For some reason, the trip seemed longer this time. I suppose I was just hot. I finally reached the turn and the wonderful long slope down and was enjoying the wind and the speed so much I almost forgot to be scared of possibly needing to brake fast and flying over my handlebars.
Another hot day. The boys were on the boat again to check the crab pots. I thought I would take a quick ride down to the library to make some returns and pick up items on hold. I was just making my way downstairs when Ike burst into the house announcing their arrival. Apparently, our friend that had gone out with them had to make a quick return as there was chance his wife was going into labor (it was a false alarm, thankfully, as it would have been a little too early). I informed the boys of my intended ride and asked if they would like to accompany me. Their answer was affirmative but it was necessary to wait a few minutes so they could take care of a few things.
It was getting hotter my the minute and my quick trip was turning into a bit on an excursion. Finally, we all got out the door and made our way down to the library. It is nice to have two adults to herd Ike as we make our way down our road. Grandma drove past and informed us that the library was having a book sale. I was planning on just picking up my books and heading back but Josh and Ike settled in and started looking at books together. I found a few more books and the stack started to grow. While the boys were occupied, I went to check out the sale. I wasn’t planning to purchase anything but then started finding things with pricing that was hard to resist: books for Isaac, a book I have been planning to read, art and photography books, free books, etc. I could have walked out with more, but I was considering the limitations of my basket. I don’t have a rear rack yet and we did not bring a backpack. I returned to the children’s section with a bigger pile than anticipated. Josh decided he wanted to look at the sale so Ike and I began our journey home without him. It was hot, my basket was full, Isaac was hungry.
For the last two blocks, he decided he would rather walk, so we dismounted and spent some extra time in the heat. Finally home, we gulped ice water and anticipated our crab dinner.
I am not going to do this again. The longer I put off writing, the less I want to do it. Ride logs should be written the same day or the next at the latest, and they definitely should not be stored up. This is an exercise to motivate not procrastinate. That leads to the opposite effect: not wanting to go for a ride because I haven’t written about the last yet. So, now, I catch up. Only two rides as it turns out but they are from a week ago. Hopefully, writing about them will free me to hop on my bike this weekend.
Except for water sports, I don’t think of exercise as a way of cooling off. Last Friday was one of the few really hot summer days we get around here. Josh came home and took Ike to go drop some crab pots and I was alone in the house sweating after a day of cleaning and rearranging furniture. I sat down to write for a few minutes and found myself pondering a bike ride as a nice way to cool down. I realized I could write more later, but if I didn’t go for ride right away, I would convince myself that it was too late or something. It was almost 8pm and there was about two hours left of light. The temperature outside was much more pleasant than inside even with all the windows open and the ceiling fan whirring. I grabbed my phone and made way to the garage and off I went to the shadiest street I know. Wow. So nice to have cool air hitting my face and flowing under my T-shirt. The little exertion I needed to expend to keep moving was minimal compared to the relief I felt as coasted down the slight inclines of the road. It was exactly what I needed.
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.
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 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.