Happy Trails

Well, the school year is officially over!  And so is this blog.  But the bike riding is not.  I am still going to attempt to ride every day, even though I know this will not always happen.

When I started this blog I called it a blog for the exercise challenged. Do I still think I am exercise challenged? Yes!

Have I lost weight? No!  Have I exercised more in the past 9 months than I did in the past 9 years? Yes!

Well, that’s something people.  At least I am rolling forward.  And I’ve met another goal I had coming into this: I’ve learned how to blog!  I’ll be starting a new blog with a writing theme soon.

For now I leave you one final pink gift captured today.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Kami

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Reflecting

The gnome is still reclining in front of the perfectly landscaped yard, but now a daisy hangs over his concrete head.  Thanks to the industriousness of the owners of his yard, his environment is always changing, but he never does.  As I approach the end of the road with this blog, I thought I’d do some reflecting on what’s changed. And what hasn’t. 

Some of the sights along the route have changed.  The octopus is no longer on the mailbox.  The fire hydrants have been freed of vegetation.

This is the one that looked like this before:

There are “for sale” signs where there weren’t before, and there are always those seasonal changes — berries and blooms that come and go, ever transforming the landscape.

But have I changed, or do I remain like the gnome, unchanging in an evolving world?

The change in me isn’t as dramatic as I’d have liked it to be, but yes, I’ve changed.  The main thing I changed was my exercise habit, even though  I did not manage to ride my bike every day.  Life happens.  I found that biking was not something I could do in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, til death…

But I did find that I could commit to attempting to ride every day.  And on the weeks where I couldn’t manage daily rides, I usually rode several times.  This is much more exercise than I was getting before I started the blog.  That’s a good thing.

My hope is to keep it up even after the days of blogging about the experience are over. Do I think I can do this? Yes!

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Nature

I’ve been approached by a community college about teaching a few writing courses. I’m kind of excited about the possibility because the campus is only half a mile away and I love the idea of biking back and forth, even though a half mile ride hardly counts for anything as far as exercise goes.  So I rode my bike up there the other day to fill out paperwork and used my $1.50 chain to secure it to a bush. This, I have to say, is a benefit of living in a small town.

I have to remind myself of benefits like this frequently because I am more of a city person.  Today I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place as I pedaled down a street that curved along the marsh.  A whooting owl provided music for the ride and for some reason I marveled that I live in a place where kayaks are common lawn ornaments.

Just 15 miles away on Hunting Island the severe beauty of nature is even more obvious.  I love to bike there and I took the picture above this spring. Can you tell what it is?

Go forth, enjoy nature, and ride.

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The Final Stretch

So.  There are 3 and a half more weeks of school and that means 3 and a half more weeks of this blog!  Somehow, having the end in sight is having an effect on me that is quite the opposite of what seeing a finish line does to a racer.  I promise to post more often in the blog’s final days, however.

One of the best things about starting this journey is that I’ve gotten my exercised challenged husband to start riding with me.  He comes along about 25% of the time, and he came along tonight.  It was unusually cool.  The green leaves seemed greener than usual.  The darkening sky bluer. We had to dodge a tiny little bird that was taking a sand bath in the road. (Yes, there is sand in the road down here.  There is sand everywhere.)

The weather was so perfect that we took the longer of our two standard routes. And I have nothing extremely interesting to report!  I’m just here to say I did it!  And you should too.

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It’s Not About Me

This time my post is not about me.  It’s about real athletes. Yesterday I attended the Beaufort Memorial Cycling Classic in downtown Beaufort.  My family stumbled across the event shortly after we moved here almost four years ago and we haven’t missed it since.

The things that I like about biking personally have little to do with type of biking featured in this event.  It’s exciting, for one thing!  Standing in the curb where tens of bikers fly by at over 30 mph is a dizzying sensation. You can even feel the wind churned up from their energy, which is energizing in itself. 

As I mentioned in the early days of this blog I consider myself exercise-challenged.  I am thankful to athletes like those competing in yesterday’s event for inspiring the rest of us.  Ride on!

These tires sure are skinny compared to those on the Hot Pink Bike!

 

Men wait at the starting line.

Racing down Bay Street.

 

Too fast to catch... on film.

Blowing by.

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Think Pink!

So now the Hot Pink Bike Route seems appropriately named — not for the color of the bike, but for the route itself.  There is pink everywhere!  Sadly, these photos don’t capture the real beauty but the route these days has been pretty amazing.

Once again I am reminded of the benefits of outdoor exercise.  I’m sure everything was equally beautiful last spring, but I didn’t notice.  As I pedal through the neighborhood these days I feel amazingly lucky.

Ride! Look! Enjoy!

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I didn’t think of that…

So… while I’ve been waxing on about the benefits of outdoor exercise I neglected to remember the real enemy of those of us who prefer the great outdoors to the gym. It’s not the cold.  It’s not the rain. It’s the powdery yellow coating that covers the otherwise beautiful greens, pinks, and purples of spring: pollen.

Two weeks ago I could barely breathe, much less bike. It was miserable!  Then we packed up and headed 20 miles down the road to stay in a cabin at Hunting Island with friends.  Hunting Island is farther south and very windy.  By the time we arrived most of the pollen had blown away.  So even though I wasn’t able to post last week we did enjoy some very nice bike rides across shady palm-laden trails.

By the time we returned to town the worst of the pollen was gone! So yesterday I was able to take the usual route… and breathe while doing it.  Yippee!

View from a biking field trip at Hunting Island.

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