My maiden bike voyage was a success in that I figured out pretty quickly where my route ended. Sunday morning was a perfect time to bust out my bike, brush off the cobwebs (and, yes, some sweat and snot left over from my last triathlon two summers ago) and begin to explore the California roads. I decided to head west along a popular paved road that runs along side one of the smaller freeways, thinking I would arrive at the ocean. A few miles down, however, the road ended. Abruptly at that. Sometimes, I suppose, we have to find our limitations before we can rise above them.
This particular route I will try again by foot when it’s time to increase long run distances (there are plenty of half-marathons to choose from out here). So, the next morning I took the same path, but this time to the east. It was uphill practically the whole way out, which of course meant a pretty quick ride back. I had only a small taste of the adventures of ahead of me.
My bike provides a certain freedom. I can go further than by foot, and much more slowly than by car. I’m therefore able to appreciate my surroundings and can explore them on a more intimate level. In high school I was extremely fortunate to tour several European countries by bike, carrying only what would fit in pannier bags. It was an unforgettable experience– and I recently found my photo album from that trip. If you’re lucky I might even show it to you! Several years later when I lived in England, I brought my first road bike with me. I logged countess miles around English farmlands on some pretty dicey roads– on the opposite side nonetheless. I sold it there before returning to the States, when I bought a great road bike that I had fitted for doing triathlons. That bike lasted until after my second child was born, and it’s now semi-retired in Colorado.
My current ride is sleek and fast, a road bike that I’m sure has not yet been taken to its potential. Perhaps on these beautiful, pot-hole-free California roads I will find my speed. I plan to add to my Bucket List locating some women’s group rides. And I ought to practice changing my own tires. After all, the road ends even more abruptly if you flat.
We are on parallel paths. You busting out of maternity, me gliding into retirement. Now that my bike is at Otis’, we try to ride them or walk rather than go in the car. We completed a night ride for ice cream cones Sunday night. But this weekend, I tried standup paddle boarding for the first time. We attracted a juvenile manatee who thought it would be great fun to nudge my paddle board forward while I was on it. Fantastic!
Ice cream eating and bike riding…the best!!