Posts tagged bike

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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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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Red at Night

Anyone who blogs about the world around them should keep a camera with them at all times.  Because today when I tried to work in a last-minute ride I ran out of the door without one.  The ride was about half over when I rounded a corner changing my traveling direction from  north to west and saw the pinkest sky I have ever seen.  So I had to pedal home as fast as I could to get the camera before the sun finished setting even though I knew the lens couldn’t really capture the intensity of the color I saw.  (It didn’t!)

Still, I couldn’t help sharing this with you.  There is something about the sun setting over the marsh that brings peace.  I discovered this when we first moved here and lived for a short time in a home overlooking the marsh.  It was extremely therapeutic to sit on the porch at sunset! 

I was reminded of this today when I got off of my bike and walked to the water to take pictures.  In a season that is all hustle, the moment of peace I unexpectedly found on the bike route was welcome.

Whether you travel by bike, car, train, plane, or foot, here’s hoping you will find an unexpected moment of peace this season too.

I can’t help including the rather blurry one below because it is so beautiful!

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Bright Spot in a Rainy Week

There are a lot of places I’ve thought about taking the hot pink bike, but I never considered taking it to the stage.  Luckily for me and a lot of other folks between Wilmington NC and Jacksonville Florida there are bikers out there who aren’t afraid to take their bikes off-road.

On Wednesday night I went to hear cellist Ben Sollee perform at the Arts Council of Beaufort County.  Ben is a professional musician who decided to take a break from a musician’s hectic air travel schedule to do a tour of the coastal Southeast.  But Ben and the three others he rides with are getting from gig to gig on this tour via long-frame bikes.  The bikes are large enough to accomodate all of the equipment needed to perform including a drum and a cello.  The bike pictured above was featured in one song during the concert when the percussionist used the bike bell to accompany the cello!

This tour is titled Pedaling Against Poverty and Ben is hoping to raise awareness  and to  buy a bike for Oxfam America Unwrapped at each stop with a portion of concert proceeds.

I had never heard of Oxfam America Unwrapped, but this organization purchases bikes for people in third world countries where a bike will help improve their quality of life by giving them transportation.  It is a great idea!

I spoke to Ben very briefly after the concert and he said that he had no training as an athlete but that biking was just something he enjoyed.  He even mentioned that maybe I could work up to a longer distance.  While I can’t imagine pedaling from Charleston to Beaufort, which is the distance he had gone before performing, I guess I should keep aspiring to longer rides!

It has been, and still is, a rainy week.  But talking to people who are using their love for riding bikes to bring music to communities and bikes to impoverished people was a very welcomed ray of  light.

To learn more about Pedaling Against Poverty go to:

www.pedalingagainstpoverty.blogspot.com

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Night and Day

gloriousYesterday I somehow managed not to ride until after dark.  Riding my bike in the dark is not my favorite thing to do, or the safest.  But I felt compelled to do it anyway because I skipped riding on one cold rainy day last week and I didn’t have an excuse at all yesterday. 

My husband wanted to go with me, which made the trip more bearable, especially when we were chased by an angry dog for half a block.  It’s been a few decades since a dog has chased me and I didn’t like the sensation at all (even though it was probably great for my heart).  I also didn’t like the fact that every other dog in the neighborhood was alerted to our ride.

Determined not to have the same experience today, I decided to ride first thing this morning.  I was able to see some wonderful things like the birdhouse above that is still covered with beautiful morning glories even though the glories along the railroad track have gone to seed. 

But riding first thing in the morning on a Saturday does have its consequences.  At least that’s what I’d call passing a yard sale on a bike and having to come back in a car to pick up three pieces of furniture…

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It doesn’t get any easier…

just rideI think the reason exercise routines (and even blogs) often fail is that it doesn’t get any easier.  You jump into something thinking that once you’ve gotten into the habit, something you’ve made a commitment to will come as easily as breathing.  But it doesn’t happen that way.  Not for me. 

In some ways it gets harder.  The excitement wanes.  But the bike is still there, just like it was the day I started.  Waiting.  Today, it is waiting in the cold, wet shed.  And I’m about to go out there and ride it. Here I go… I can do it… I can do it…

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Mystery!

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:

oops!

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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