Thursday, July 12, 2007
bike ride 7.12.07
Out on the trail after work. And while I am pedaling away all my thoughts are clear and I think of what I'll write in my blog but then I run by the grocer, make a quick dinner, have a glass of wine and then fight the old PC to get onto my account and... and its gone. Or more correctly it is all there, thought pushing against thought and nothing comes out. So I take a deep breathe and try to think about biking. My first bike was one my Dad bought for me from a police auction. It was a green girls bike and no I don't think there were any permanent psychological scars from pedaling around the neighborhood atop a girl's bike. I remember the yard seemed like a giant hill and how anxious I was the first time the training wheels came off. I'm pretty sure that is about the same time my parents shot the 8mm video of me wearing a huge band aid on my chin. It has been several years since I was back in that neighborhood and I was amazed at how almost level the front yard appeared as well as how short the driveway was. We moved when I was six into a larger subdivision but there were not a lot of kids my age so I remember riding around on my new bike, a banana seat 3 speed with the gear shift mounted not on the handle bars but right in front of you. Once my sister, P, was riding with me. I was a ahead of her and a German Shepard took out after us. I stopped, let her pass and then took off trailing her. I do recall feeling something bite into my right butt cheek and later trying to contort myself in front of a mirror so I could see if there was any damage. It was probably the only brave thing I've ever done in my life. When we moved from suburbia I was a month away from 14. The last day of school I hopped off the bus, jogged home and jumped into the front seat of our Cutlass station wagon and rode with Mom and the girls to our new home. (I'm still a bit fuzzy on whether they had told me ahead of time that we were moving or if I just got home earlier than my parents had expected me to.) We moved to a rural area and while I had friends in school we lived several miles from them and our house was surrounded by 100 acres of farmland and trees. I only brought homework from school once - which is a pretty sad indictment on the level of edukashion there- so after school I would ride around the property. Lap, after lap, after lap. Winning races against imaginary opponents, coming from back in the pack to edge them out at the finish line. (the dead tree by the dirt road) The next summer I began working so, except for the occasional after school ride in the Fall, I didn't ride much. Several years ago my Uncle and I began to meet each Autumn at a small town and ride for a weekend. Over the years it grew into a complete family outing with extra rides around the local area, including my introduction to a Greenway Trail. I also began riding in organized rides, took a couple of cycling vacations in New England, and the state has built a very nice trail close to where I now live, so that there is rarely a week that goes by when I'm not on a bike and when the days are to short to ride during the work week I'll hit the stationary bike at the gym. All that to say, I love cycling. I find it refreshing, relaxing, tiring, great exercise and just plain fun. Until now. I still love it but I also hate it. P has ALS, has been in a wheelchair since November and now it is effecting the muscles in her hands as well. I pedal and feel the sun and the breeze and I love it and I hate it. I feel alive and I feel guilty, I feel, I feel, everything and I feel nothing. P's oldest will be a senior in high school this year. I have never wanted time to go by so slowly and so quickly.