Betty Says: Look Around

Appreciate Your Surroundings

Why we pay so much to live here.

Why we pay so much to live here.

The Assistant has changed everything. With his new bike, he wants to ride everywhere. As a result, I reorganized the shed to make the bikes easier to access, and the almost daily rides mean that I’m keeping the bike well maintained so that the tires never go flat. Fifteen minutes of prep time has become a grab and go proposition.

Yesterday, I did my longest ride of the year: a nearly 2-mile roundtrip school dropoff with the kiddo, followed by 18 miles on the trail, and another 3 miles to school, dinner and home in the evening.

Aside from very sore sit bones (as yoga teachers call them), and a rendezvous with a self-righteous cycling ass on the trail (the dude called me “princess”), it was an amazing day.

Things that I saw that I would never normally experience include:

  • Two great egrets, up close and personal
  • The largest in-flight hawk that I have ever seen
  • The Mallard duck and Canada goose duo who protect the other geese and ducks from passersby
  • A deafening chorus of crickets chirping away in the tall grasses beside the trail
  • The aforementioned tall grasses swishing in the breeze
  • The ridiculously lovely red-winged blackbirds darting across the trail
  • One lone bunny
  • The sweetest golden retriever that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet

Let’s face it: you just don’t get that at the gym. Plus, it seems fundamentally wrong and deeply ungrateful to not take advantage of the beautiful northern California weather while my friends shovel out from a late April snow in the midwest.

Is riding my new thing? I don’t know. Short of buying a beach cruiser with a giant, wide seat, I’m not sure that my ass can handle long rides on a regular basis. (And don’t get me started on my padded shorts and capris that seem to have the padding in the wrong places, at least for my anatomy. But I digress.) But for now, while the weather is warm and the bike is already out, I’m good to go. I like seeing the world.

Do you ride? How far and how often?

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3 Responses

  1. Lori says:

    Probably next week, I will go and buy my cheap beach cruiser from the Japanese hardware store and then I will attempt to learn to ride it. I’m in a pretty idea situation to do so since our base has wide roads, very little traffic, and huge unused parking lots at the hospital that is now closed. We also have a road to nowhere that probably used to lead to part of the base that’s been given back to the Japanese. (At least that’s my theory.) I don’t plan to become a bike commuter, rides-in-traffic person at any point or a mountain biker, but it would be nice to be able to rent bikes when we’re on vacation to get ourselves around. Would have made a couple of our stops in Burma SO MUCH easier. So I don’t see myself becoming a biker for transportation or exercise, it’s just a skill I feel like I should have.

  2. Lori says:

    Ideal situation, not idea.

  3. Alisa says:

    I was talking with my Nana today and she told me that she wasn’t allowed to ride a bike as a kid because her mother thought it was inappropriate and ungodly for girls in skirts to ride bikes. (She was a kid in the 1920s.) When she was in high school, she would get together with her friends and they would teach her to ride their bikes. When she was a married adult, she got one of her own, yet hid it from her mother for the rest of her life.

    Bike riding is fun. I’m not going to be like my friend, Luke, screaming down the roads at 30 MPH, but I like a nice ride on a paved, carless trail.

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