Archive for Bike Stories

Cool Ride

If you’ve been around for a while you may remember a post titled Destination Equals Motivation.  Today, my daughter and I set out for a ride that was completely motivated by the destination.  That and the beautiful weather! Just for a change of pace, I’m going to present it as a photo essay.

On the way way to our destination we passed trees that bloomed against antebellum backgrounds.


...and boats being swarmed by gulls...


Finally we reached our destination!


We parked our bikes in front of a broad swing and sat to enjoy our shaved ice on the most beautiful day so far.


But clouds rolled in and suddenly eating shaved ice on a swing facing the sea (and its breeze) became a very cold thing to do. So we sought shelter at a friendly store.

So… riding toward a shaved ice stand and seeking shelter in a candy store may not be the best way to get into shape.  But in our defense, someone did walk into the store and say, “It has dropped ten degrees in the last ten minutes.”  And it was a very nice afternoon with a daughter who loved both of the desinations.

That’s her shaved ice hanging from the handlebar, by the way.  It was too cold to eat!  And it didn’t spill on the ride home. 

Hopefully the small successes really do count for something.


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There is a corner on the bike route that I’ve recently become hesitant to turn.  Today, I deemed it safe because a cat sat in the front yard.

But a few days ago, just as I was making the turn, a big brindled dog shot across the road right in front of me.  He was so fast and so focused that if a car had been coming he would have been road kill.  The dog’s bark was ferocious.  Luckily he wasn’t barking at or focusing on me. 

Instead, he was telling off a Chihuahua, whose yip was so high that he sounded more toy than dog.  From the safety of his chain-linked yard, the Chihuahua was giving it right back to the big dog.  I could hear the shouts of the big dog and the screams of the smaller one all the way back home.

Every time I get ready to turn on that street I look for the big dog.  His posture, his bark, his stride, held such power.  I’m not sure I could out distance him if he chose to pick an argument with me instead of a Chihuahua.  But something about the scene stuck with me – the big dog’s power and the little dog’s tenacity.  So I worked these two characters into my most recent manuscript.

Writers never know where their manuscripts will end up or how far they will go.  But I do know that had I not been on my bike I would have missed out on writing a great scene. As a writer, being outside awakens me.  This is a big reason why, despite my failings, I have been able to stick with the bike route. I know that what I see and hear while exercising often offers a source of inspiration for my writing.  I’m sure it’s enriching to people in other professions too.

So… go forth and exercise!

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Passing the House on N. Hermitage

the hot pink bike

I know that he is there.




So why do I still

flinch –





when I hear that

deep bass



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I’ve always loved a mystery. Maybe it’s because I made enough trips to the library as a child to read every single Nancy Drew Mystery. And every Bobsy Twins Mystery… and all of the Hardy Boys. Maybe it’s because when I found the complete Sherlock Holmes on my father’s bookshelf I read it from cover to cover. I’ve even written mysteries. Six of them are being published by Putnam in the first two volumes of The Adventures of Dreadlock Jones. I guess I just I love wondering why.

And now The Hot Pink Bike Route has presented me with a mystery! The first clue was this:

crime scene

You probably don’t recognize this scene of the crime. Last time you saw it, it looked like this:


And the time before that it looked like this:


But now the sign is gone, completely. The first picture you saw is the former location of the sign. I wondered why the owners of the sign decided to remove it. It has, after all, been there for so long. Maybe they saw my blog and felt embarrassed. Nah… Maybe it had rotted and wouldn’t stick in the ground anymore…  I kept my eyes and ears open, folks. Even so, I was very surprised when I saw this:

Ah ha!

Yes, look closely. That is the sign in question. And it is on the porch of a house fairly far away from the yard it used to grace. A different street even.

Why is the sign in a this new location?  I wonder why. I wonder why….

All I know is this: If I hadn’t been out on my bike, I would have never pedaled across the mystery. 

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The Seat®: The Final Installment

on a kid's bike

In my last post, I reflected on how The Seat® came into my possession some time after the unwise purchase of a $50 bike.  Here is how The Seat® has recently influenced The Hot Pink Bike Route.

After the $50 bike started falling apart piece-by-piece we decided to give it up for lost, dismantle it, and use it for parts. What we should have realized, of course, is that a bike not worth $50 while still in one piece is worth even less as a pile of cheaply made parts.  So as we were discussing whether or not there was a single part worth saving, my daughter quickly honed in on the one part that was: The Seat®. 

Now The Seat® (worth $50) has been installed on her $30 kid’s bike.  It looks odd, I confess.  My daughter, however, is so thrilled with The Seat®’s “padding made of cushion-soft lycra and gel” that she’s dying to ride.  Twice last week she motivated me to ride when I was tempted not to.  If this trend continues, The Seat® will be worth every penny of the $50 that I didn’t have to pay to begin with.  Hmmm.  Maybe if I purchased one for every member of my family I’d be three times as motivated to ride…

One of the places we rode last week was to the Beaufort Shrimp Festival

One of the places we rode last week was to the Beaufort Shrimp Festival


If not for The Seat®, I may have never known my alma mater funded a research vessel that went to important destinations like the Beaufort Shrimp Festival!

If not for The Seat®, I may have never known my alma mater funded a research vessel that went to important destinations like the Beaufort Shrimp Festival!

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The Seat®

The Seat®

Last year, in an attempt to be fiscally practical, I purchased the cheapest bike I could find. It cost $50, brand new, at a certain famous discount store.  Since it looked as good as the next bike, I thought I had a bargain.

The first time I rode it the right pedal fell off.  This was on a family excursion, so I pressed on, not wanting to spoil the outing.  On the return ride home I experienced severe derrière discomfort.  My husband traded bikes with me, pedaled for about a block, and declared that he was riding the rest of the way standing up.

The next time I visited my parents I described the  “bargain bike” to my father. He went to a closet and came back carrying The Seat®.  Someone had given it to him for a holiday and he said he wasn’t ever going to use it.  He gave it to us.

 The Seat®, which still had the tag on it, promised to:

“have been endorsed by physicians.”

“reduce the risk of impotency.”

“solve the problem of bike seat discomfort.”

I took The Seat® and was heading to my car with it when my sister stopped me.  “Hey, what are you doing? We gave that to Dad for Christmas a few years ago. It was expensive!” 

So much for avoiding bike seat discomfort.

It turns out that The Seat® cost $50.  It’s kind of funny to put a $50 seat on a $50 bike, but I did it.  And I had some very comfortable rides as a result.  Until the left pedal fell off.  And the brakes stopped working. Which wasn’t all that long after installing The Seat®.  

This is just the beginning the story about The Seat® and how it influenced The Hot Pink Bike Route.  But it’s the end of this post.  Because blog posts are supposed to be short and this one already isn’t!

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