Success is all about how you define it.
I’ve been waiting for just the right time to bring my bike out of hiding and take it for its maiden, summer voyage around our local lake. It usually takes a while for me to do this each year because I am picky about the circumstances under which I will travel. It can’t be too cold. It also can’t be too hot. Slightly breezy is fine, but windy is a deal breaker. I also prefer to be in semi-good shape before the maiden voyage because otherwise it takes forever, and forever is too long for a bike ride no matter how good the weather.
Like I said. Picky.
When I woke up this morning it seemed like the perfect opportunity. After days of wondering if my home would withstand the tumultuous winds around here, it finally looked like I might be able to brave the outdoors without risking being pelted by an airborne Yorkshire terrier. Not too windy – CHECK. I glanced at the outdoor thermometer. 68 Degrees. Not too hot. Not too cold. Practically perfect. CHECK. As for being in fairly good shape I have been exercising diligently for weeks now, and while I’m not exactly prepared to do a swimsuit cover I was pretty sure I could handle a 16 mile ride. CHECK.
For the first part of my ride the lake was calm, and I think the ducks were relieved to glide seamlessly through the cattails and grasses rather than the white capped wakes of days previous. I secretly think they were throwing a party, but I didn’t see any cupcakes so I can’t be sure. As I bypassed the marina the smell of hot dogs and pizza wafted through my path and fishermen dotted the banks with their carts of fishing gear. Sound a little too ideal so far? Not to worry. After completing the path around the lake I started for home – the winds kicked up against me while attempting to scale a hill, and I got off to walk for a few paces. Getting off my bike sometimes makes me feel like a loser, but then I realized, “Okay, so maybe I didn’t scale the entire hill but I could hock a loogie for MILES.” Pros and cons. It’s also important to make sure in this scenario that you go WITH the wind and not against it. Just sayin’. Moments later a bug flew up my nose and set up camp. He never came out and is probably roasting s’mores by now. I can’t say I blame him – I have a really welcoming nasal cavity.
At the end of the day it was several peaceful miles, one bug up the nose, one grueling hill, a sore butt and lots of burned calories. Today, I’m calling that a success.