Monday, August 31, 2009

You rode HOW FAR on a bicycle?

It comes in spells, this love of cycling. The spells don't usually last much longer than it takes for my butt to become uncomfortable. But I remember at some point the reason for riding a bicycle became simply that it is something I can do, albeit not all that well.

In 1995 when I was in the absolute best physical condition of my life, I was all too happy to hop on a bicycle and ride 50, 60, 75 miles (I've never managed the elusive 100, not for lack of trying). Now it is more like that old saying "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" or whatever that saying is.

Yesterday Lil Sis and I (along with the other two members of Team Chi-Chis) rode in the annual Wilson 100 bicycle ride. I'm never sure if riding the tandem with Lil Sis is really easier or if it just seems that way because I'm not constantly trying to catch up with her! We never intended to ride the longest ride of 104 miles, but I think Lil Sis was thinking more of the 50-mile version. At one of the rest stops (#2 maybe?) we were trying to make the decision about the distance to ride, and I pointed out that the next distance was "only 15 miles more" than the one we had intended to ride. I'm usually the one to argue the shorter distance!

So ride on we did. And ride. And ride. At about mile 46 the rains came. Oh heck, it's just a little rain. But not for long. It became a deluge with lightning and thunder, seemingly coming ever closer and closer. We came upon a small town which was mostly deserted and took shelter under the roof of the porch of what was once a business. Presently the other two Team Chi-Chis joined us (we had left them at the previous rest stop, thinking we were getting ahead of the rain!) and we rode the last 10 miles in rain. You know that kind of rain that is just hard enough to feel like needles hitting your arms and face? And I felt sorry for Lil Sis on the front of the tandem--at least she was breaking some of the needles from my face!

Of course, we eventually made it back to the starting point, weary and wet. There was a surprisingly delicious meal waiting for us when we returned. Then we made the almost-two-hour drive back home. I remember coming home, walking Chico, soaking in a warm bath, but not so much about getting into bed! I must have been asleep before the room was dark.

I can hardly wait to get to work this evening and tell my co-workers (all young men) how this old woman rode 66.54 miles on a bicycle! Maybe that's why I do it after all: bragging rights!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Wanted to be a Dancer

Guess I haven't mentioned that yet. I'm sure I danced around when I was young and got into all sorts of trouble, as I'm equally sure it was something that would never have been allowed inside the house. So I danced outside? I don't know.

But I do know it was a dream of mine until I got to the age that I decided it was too late. That was probably about the time it occurred to me that we had been poor when I was younger. Not the poorest people in the county, and we always had enough to eat and clean clothes to wear, but we could not have afforded my dance career even if Mother had had the time and the inclination to help me pursue it. I might have been a ballerina or a tap dancer, even a ballroom dancer. But there were five children and we lived "out in the country."

So now while I'm walking my sweet Chihuahua puppy Chico I take along my MP3 player or my phone on which I have stored something like 700 songs. I don't even care that the neighbors might see me dancing up and down the street, following wherever Chico decides to go.
(More about the neighborhood later and this will be funny!)

Maybe this winter (when there is no bicycle riding and the weather is not conducive to any kind of outdoor activities), I will enroll in some sort of exercise/dance class . . . or just make my own right here in the living room.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Am Just Getting Too Old!

In Dalton, GA with Lil Sis for a bike ride, and it was brutal . . . at least for me. I started out in decent shape in spite of the fact that I had had only three hours of sleep last night and did not eat a proper breakfast this morning. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Never mind that I am at least 30 pounds overweight and too old to go out and jump on a bike and ride up hills in 94-degree weather. Lil Sis looked very strong and stayed ahead of me most of the day . . . but not TOO far! Thanks, Little Sis!

Time to get ready for some much-needed rest. One more day to ride on this trip. The plan is to ride the shortest route tomorrrow . . . which is 47 miles. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Can't Compete!

Okay, so now both of my sisters are blogging every night. I just can't keep up! I have time to read them and make comments, but I just can't seem to find the time to compose my own blog every single night.

I'll try, though.