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#330daysofbiking Day 57: memorial day

flags along the way ... Memorial Day

End of the long holiday weekend.  Spent the day working outside, running a few errands, and finally had an evening ride.  One of the houses we passed had a fence lined with flags.  On bikes, in the evening, it was a good time to remember …  The sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandparents – who have served or are serving.  Waiting for peace, waiting to return home.

One of my ShutterCal photography friends, Brian, who had once served in the Army, put it very well:

You don’t have to believe in, like or support a war or the morons who start them (I certainly don’t) but it is VERY important to (honor) and respect those who willingly put their lives on the line by serving in ANY uniform.

Remembering.  And wishing for peace.

at ease

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#330daysofbiking Day 56: deliverance

Hey! My handlebar plug is missing?! :-0

Today’s big accomplishments:

  • got out and back before the rains came
  • saved another turtle from certain road peril (or at least I convinced myself that I did)
  • got a new kayak(!) 😀

I moved him ... hopefully in the direction he intended to go

Mark and I got out this morning for a ride – before the rains came.  Passed a box turtle sitting in the road, not moving.  Why do they do this?  The warmth?  Just taking their time?  Deciding direction?  I do not know – but of course I was compelled to deliver him out of harm’s way, and hopefully a little closer to wherever he was headed.

A slight sprinkle on the last mile before home, but nothing like the deluge than came later.  I think I start making Mark crazy with all of my stopping  Move a turtle, a picture here, a picture there.  More flowers. (What can I say? They are eye-catching, they’re everywhere … and yes, they appeal to my girlie side.)

Headed to Chattanooga in the afternoon, looking for a new kayak for the river this summer.  Managed to find a nice little boat, nothing fancy – a sit-upon model designed for fishing, which I think will really suit me well for managing camera gear, etc.  Looking forward to peaceful evening paddles, wildlife watching … and hopefully no banjo music. 😉

... and more flowers (sigh)

#330daysofbiking Day 55: Seussian

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” ~ Dr. Seuss

A wonderful long and leisurely road with my beloved today.  The roadsides are covered in wildflowers – and weedflowers.  All beautiful to me, thorns included.  I don’t know why, but the blooming thistle always reminds me of some Seussian creation.  They are such odd, crazy-looking flowers on tall stalks – and manage to grow to perfect handlebar height (beware the thorns!).

The threat of rain convinced me to leave the DSLR at home, but I had my little Lumix and remembered a ziplock bag today. 🙂 As we were riding, I was trying to think of/remember all of the beloved Dr. Seuss quotes I could.  His wonderful books and illustrations always had – and still have – a special place in my heart. So today’s few riding pics are paired with the wonderful words of Seuss…

"If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good." ~ Dr. Seuss

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere" ~ Dr. Seuss

"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one." ~ Dr. Seuss

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~ Dr. Seuss

#330daysofbiking Day 54: eight hours in a car

traffic ... circles

I hope there is no one checking the official rule-book, because I’m not entirely sure today’s ride would even count as being valid.  I rode Mason’s bike.  Around a parking lot, to his dorm.  Period.  So sue me.  I did, in fact, ride a bike today.

Spent the day driving to and from Clarksville, in the rain, in Memorial Day weekend traffic – taking Mason back to APSU for his 5-week summer job mentoring at Governor’s School.  Maybe it was just the long day in the car, or the traffic … or just the fact that I will be missing our summer rides together for the next few weeks.  But I am feeling a bit cantankerous at the moment.  I am , of course, so happy that he has this great opportunity, and am sure that after a good night’s sleep I will feel more normal (whatever that is?).

But until he returns in July, I shall be missing his eagerness to be out riding – even when I drag him with me through the rain and in the dark.  Even when I know I am holding him back, yet he is kind enough to let me decide the pace.  I will miss his silly comments, his teasing, the way he shakes his head and always laughs at my crazy ideas.  His patience when I make him stop so that I can take photos.  So Mason, if you should read this … I hope you know.  Miss you, babe – have fun!

Mason's summer room-mate ... back in the dorm (APSU)


#330daysofbiking Day 53: not quite critical mass

Summer. Cricket evenings.  Riding with friends. Music.

Busy day that evolved into the gathering of the boys and their friends, Matt and Tim – two whom I love much like my own.  Music, conversation, laughter, dinner together… and then I persuaded them that we should all go for a ride.  So after a round of skateboarding stunts on the driveway, goofing around on their old Razor scooters, and some more music, I think they decided to humor me –  we got the bikes out and took a ride.

I love summer evenings – especially in the company of the people I love.  Add some bikes and music to the mix, and it’s even better.  Someday I want to do a real Critical Mass … but for now, this was all I needed.

#330daysofbiking Day 52: groceries and monsters

grocery run on the Xtracycle

No sappy life-cycling philosophy today … just groceries.  A fairly full load on the Xtracycle, and still I am always amazed at how beautifully she rides – and carries just about everything.  And still room to spare.

I am probably luckier than most – I have a pretty decent ride to the nearest grocery store.  It’s a pathetic little store, but passable for common staples.   I can get there within 15 minutes, and largely avoid high-traffic roads, coming in through the ” back way”.  A few sections I would even describe as being quite scenic – fields of hay, a creek crossing, cool woods.

Phil - no odd wrenches on the side of the road, but I found a monster for you 😉

A friend of mine recently commented about the funny things along the side of the road – the things you would probably never notice if you were not travelling by foot or bike.  We’ve all seen some strange stuff (and I won’t bring up the naked sunbather again). Today’s road surprise came in the form of a lost monster, lying there sticking his tongue out at me; I’m guessing he was somehow ejected from a passing car.  Made me laugh.

All of our neighbors, local farmers, are baling hay right now.  I love watching the process, love seeing the bales sitting in the fields.  Love the sweet hay smell in the air as I pass by.

Had planned on taking an evening ride tonight, but just didn’t get out.  Ended up outside around home, taking pictures … the sky was beautiful again today, filled with amazing clouds.  Oh well, Day 53 is just a few hours away…

out by our pond

#330daysofbiking Day 51: towards the sun

"... Though I'm not yet gone, I'm still not here" (Alexi Murdoch)

Some days, some sights … I just cannot find the words.  There are only pictures.  And even the images from the camera can never quite compare with being there. Xtracycle, twilight, the “golden hour”, pink clouds.  Magic.

There is a beautiful song by Alexi Murdoch that was playing while I was taking it all in – along with the photos, it’s all I really can share.  Next time, you need to just be there with me…

Towards the Sun … Alexi Murdoch

See the clouds are creeping towards the sun

And I’m slipping away unseen by anyone

The light is turning gray, the day is done

The water is so cold and heavy on my mind

I dreamed of walking with you but I fell behind

Looking for a road I could not find

Now the ice is stirring and spring is near

There is no one calling but the sound is clear

Though I’m not yet gone, I’m still not here

the golden hour ... and a rainbow

twilight pink

#330daysofbiking Day 50: the conversation in my head

Today was errand riding.  Stop at the bank, ship a package to CA, some shopping at Le Target, a visit to the jeweler for watch batteries.  And the treat of a much-needed pedicure.  Commuter bike, riding in flip flops, ridiculously high temperatures.  Sweat.

The conversation in my head today was about living deliberately.  I am sure someone, somewhere, has published a book(s) on the subject.  I’ve been thinking a lot about decision-making, about daily choices, about direction.  Sometime within the past year or so, I read a list of points someone had come up with that was fairly though-provoking – and while I’m on my bike I’ve often remembered them (and apologize that I can’t remember who penned them).  Today was one of those days.  Somehow I find them as relevant to life on a bicycle as they are to just … life.

The conversation in my head:

Deal with the past.  (Me:) Mistakes happen, on life and on a bicycle.  Learn from them, accept them, move forward, find a new route.  If you crash, get back in the saddle.  Carry rain gear and a spare tube.

Take stock and discover who you are. Rejoice in your victories, no matter how small.  Celebrate getting up that big hill, or riding home in the rain, or just riding farther/longer than you could last week.  What are you doing in your life that is working, bringing happiness?  What isn’t?  Don’t be afraid to make changes or try new things.

Have fun and don’t forget to play. Put a bell on your handlebars.  Ride for ice cream.  Ride with friends.  Ride in the dark (with lights).  Be a kid again.  (But wear a helmet.)

Know the present. Stop, look and listen – at intersections, and everywhere else in your life.  Enjoy the very spot where you are, rather than thinking about what might be over the next big hill.  Be here, not there.

Love it all. Love the people in your life – your partner, your children, your parents, your friends.  Yourself.  The guy in the truck who stopped and didn’t turn in front of you.  The cows that are looking at you as you ride by.  Love your bike.  Love your life – love the ride.

And so ends my  (lame) philosphy-by-bicycle … I got the errands run, anyway. 😉

errands ... via iPhone & Hipstamatic

#330daysofbiking Day 49: missed one

father and son

This should have been Day 50 … but yesterday I missed.  Didn’t ride.  😛

Yesterday was the big end-of-school-year/beginning-of-summer/graduating-kids bash at our house.  The big group of friends … volleyball, swimming, ultimate frisbee, barbeque, bonfire and The Night Shines concert in the barn.  A lot of these kids have become like family over the past few years, and it was great to just kick back and have some fun.  It turned into a rather late night around the bonfire; the music and conversation didn’t want to end.

assortment of party snapshots

Today, gratefully, the post-party clean-up was taken care of by Mark (mostly) and the boys.  Spent the rest of the day relaxing and unwinding, but got out for a ride with Mason and Mark in the afternoon.  It was a beautiful day, but the temperatures are really heating up.  Definitely feels like summer.  It’s the last weekend riding opportunity with Mason for the next month or so – on Friday he returns to APSU for five weeks to work at the TN Governor’s School for Computational Physics. Will be looking forward to getting him back in July, and more riding together…

shadow play

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#330daysofbiking Day 48: goofus world :-P

always an attitude ...

Apparently it is some law of nature:  enter the goat pen with a camera, and there is never a shortage of goofus goat world.  Never.  Tonight was no exception.  Always the comedians, they are.  (If you don’t believe me, more on my Flickr … )

I don't know what this was about - she kept swinging her head around. Goats - who can possibly know?

Rainy morning. Spent the better part of the day working around home.  The really fun stuff – like laundry, cleaning, some work outside.  And yes, in the goat barn.  Tomorrow the boys are having a big end-of-school bash here … same as last year, after Mason & Ross’s graduation, many of the same kids.  The Band will play, volleyball, food, good times – and hopefully I will not get thrown in the pool this year.   I’ll be keeping my eye on you, Justin.

Mason and I got out late, but did take a nice evening ride.  It was cool, but clear.  Cacophony of crickets, frogs, all the sounds of dusk.  Baseball game in the nearby field.  The quiet whrrrr of our bicycles.  Blinkies.  The fragrance of honeysuckle, that I can’t get enough of.  Lens Baby.

And yes, the background nyaaaaaa of a couple of goats.

sounds of crickets

the sounds of crickets...

not as goofy as goats