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.
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 have been wanting to widen my usual cycling circle beyond the library so, last Sunday, we finally ventured to our local farmers market. It has been a goal ride and something I would like to do every weekend for the season.
Riding a bike has a way of making an errand an adventure. Trips to the farmers market have always been a pleasant outing, but rarely do we linger for an extended period of time. I think our usual duration is about a half-hour; we pick up what we need, then drive home or do some other errands. This past visit was different.
Josh hitched up the Trail-a-Bike as the distance and traffic would be a bit too much for Ike. On the way there, we took back streets as long as we could before riding on the busier road. I followed behind, way behind as I am a slower rider and wanted to enjoy the journey. At the market, we made our purchases and, realizing it was about lunch time, decided to eat some yummy barbecue there. There were a few children decorating the willow arbors with Rainier cherries (I assume rejects) and wildflowers and invited Ike to help them. This made for an incredibly sweet scene as they draped cherries and ran into the field to collect flowers. Again, I felt this great calm and patience. All was how it should be. I felt no rush to be elsewhere. Then, when it was the right moment, we hopped on our bikes and headed for home along the highway, a much busier road than the busy road we tried to avoid on the way to the market, but it has a much wider bike lane and a nice hill to coast down at the turn off.
It was the longest ride I have taken so far and I felt exhilarated after. I want that ride to feel as easy as going to the library and to maybe even pull the Trail-a-Bike myself. I will need to feel stronger and less fearful before that happens though. I am gaining more confidance with each ride and I know that it anything is possible with perserverence and practice. There was a time I would just sabotage, give up, not try to move out of my comfort zone, but today I am trying to expand it.
1. Solo Ride I was really afraid I wasn’t going to bike yet another day. While thinking over dinner plans for the week, I realized a forgot a couple items when I was in town at the co-op. So, I left Ike with his dad and jumped on my bike to go to the local market. Ike wanted to go with me, but I wanted to scope out the ride before I let him wheel down there. There are no real safe approaches to the market and the parking lot is always crowded. There used to be a great path to the back of the store that you could enter from a side street, but they put up a fence when the gas station was built. It is a semi-rural area with no sidewalks except by the main intersection, but that is not much of an issue. Most of our local establishments (library, market, bank, etc.) are built for approach by car. They don’t have any sort of path for pedestrians or bikes or children of either persuasion from the street. The entrances are via the driveway and through the parking lot. Oh wait, if you take the path to the primary school and go around the fence, you can enter the library without going down the driveway into the parking lot…that’s about as good as it gets.
2. Pas de deux Ike was a little upset about not going to the store with me so the two of us went out when I came home. I thought we would just go on a jaunt around the long block, by he wanted to take a longer route. We rode a loop through a quiet residential development that I used to follow when I was trying to be a runner. I tried to take some pictures of the trees that eclipse the sky in parts and some bright fuchsia flowers growing in a pot in someone’s front yard but Ike kept pedaling ahead and I had to keep up.
3. And then there were three…
While we were out, Josh hooked up the Trail-a-Bike we just scored for $50 off Craig’s List. Ike has been really excited to try it out. I thought it was just going to be the two of them going out, but I tagged along at the last minute. Ike had a blast going faster than he ever has on a bike and I had fun just trying to keep up. Unfortunately, another photo failure as I did not snap a picture of the two of them on the pseudo-tandem, but I did take one of the bike itself before the ride.
Far from the fear of no ride, circumstances sprung me into action. Could it be that bike riding might help me be a little more spontaneous? That I might be more prone to seizing opportunities as they come up instead of letting them pass me by as I try to pursue my own plans? Haven’t I learned that lesson? Maybe I have found a solution, or at least a vehicle for change. Where has your ride taken you today?