Posts tagged ‘family’
Finally … nothing Italian. 😉
#330daysofbiking has continued – missing the gelato stops and getting lost within small villages, but with beautiful Tennessee autumn weather, cooler temperatures, boys home for Fall Break(s), cruising the Riverwalk in Chattanooga, and on the road with the “fast” boys. Riding for fun, and riding to get the job done (errands, groceries, library, bike shop).
And some important news from coming via our friend Jeff … If you live and ride in TN, or plan to visit and ride, please take a moment to participate in a quick 9-question survey from the folks at TDOT on the state’s bicycle and pedestrian program. TDOT wants to hear from you! (And by October 30th please … my apologies for getting this posted so late.)
Although a couple of days were lost in transit (Italy), #330daysofbiking count is still on target. As of today, have ridden 189 of the past 208 days,with 159 days remaining. And so it goes.
(Coming soon … tales of a new city bike, “Elisabetta”. 🙂 Photos and details to come; stay tuned.)
A few of the random pictures from the recent days of #330daysofbiking. (And I am on a mission to try and stay on top of things from here on, not letting this stuff pile up into one big post. Apologies.)
The weather has been pretty spectacular; dry and not so hot. Lovely and cool in the mornings and evening. Fall is around the corner, and the prospect of autumn riding stirs my heart.
The official count: As of today, have ridden 147 of the past 160 days. Sometimes nice long road rides, sometimes just a grocery haul or errand run. On my own, or with “my boys” or friends, it is the daily elixir – it is happiness in motion.
Note: Returning Dillon to school, had some time to check out more amazing architecture on the Berry campus. This is part of the Winshape Retreat located within the Berry property. Story behind it: college founder Martha Berry traveled to France and upon return, decided to build a dairy farm resembling the architecture of Normandy. It was part of the college’s Ag pgm for over 75 years. Eventually, the Cathy family (Chick-fil-A chain) was given the opportunity take it over when the dairy operation changed location, and they converted it into a retreat for church & marriage encounters, a youth summer camp, as well as corporate gatherings, etc. They also offer a variety of scholarship opportunities and special residence halls for Berry students up in this area, known as Berry’s “Mountain Campus” … several miles removed from the main academic center. The students living at the Mountain Campus have the option of taking a shuttle bus (humorously referred to as the “chicken wagon”) to classes, or cycling/walking on the Viking Trail – which is a great paved path between the two locations. It was a beautiful ride (below).
We arrive at intersections, in our lanes with others heading the same direction. We stop or slow down, some turn right, some turn left. People arrive from other directions and enter our lane, driving in front of us, or behind, but on the same bearing. We stay together for a while. We part. We merge and we move forward.
We’ve arrived at one of those intersections once again – the boys are heading back to school, moving forward, changing lanes. The summer has been kind of non-stop camaraderie between the boys, the band (The Night Shines), friends and family, and the partings can be somewhat bittersweet – a combination of excitement and apprehension. For the band, I think it is been especially so; they’ve shared the same lane for so long, it’s tough to turn off, to part ways for a while.
While I can never adequately describe or define their personalities, the silliness, the connections between them – I think the picture above caught a very brief spark.
For now, I have a few more days of riding with a couple of them before they, too, make the turn and head back to school. The story of the pink Caliente is still coming – hopefully later this week – when I can get some photos with the new owner.
The official #330daysofbiking count: have ridden 126 of the past 138 days (today will be day 127), with 229 (228) days remaining. Meanwhile … a couple of the photos.
The days follow a pattern – a pleasant pattern. Cycling, paddling, taking pictures, conversations, laughter, rest. Watching the sun go down. And come up again. The summer is passing so quickly, sometimes I feel like I can’t quite get it all in.
Riding into town on Thursday, a trip on the Greenway. It’s always heartening, inspiring, to see others on bikes – and their willingness and enthusiasm to stop and strike up a conversation. (And yes – their agreeing to let me take their photos :). When we’re not boxed up in cars, I believe we’re much more inclined to interact, to converse. It makes us more approachable, more a part of the community. Stopping to talk with two other cyclists (and one of the Greenway police officers) and talking about the merits of the Greenway for getting across town, observing the increase in ride-share around town, and just enjoying the simple pleasure of having a “commons” – a place to walk, to ride, to just stop and sit.
The heat continues, and the evening continues to be one of the nicest times to get out. A time to stow the camera in the Xtracycle and just take a leisurely spin on roads close to home. Enjoying the “golden hour”, the hum of the cicadas.
Lazy Saturday mornings spent exploring the river by kayak. Flat grey skies, calm still water – like glass. Different than cycling, yet oddly similar, moving through the landscape. A lesson in patience this morning – spending close to an hour slowly approaching a Little Green Heron, who graciously let me get incredibly close.
Ending the weekend riding with “my boys”. Another summer day, another ride. The sun comes up and goes down. It passes so quickly. I feel like I can’t quite get it all in.
Clouds and rumbles of thunder today. Watched the brutal climbing of todays stage of the Tour, which was enough to make my legs ache just sitting there. Other lazy Sunday stuff … but got out for a nice road ride in the afternoon with Mark and Mason.
Mark heads out of town again, and both Mason and Dillon are scheduled to work a lot this week, so it will be more solo riding for me. At least I can keep up with myself.
It will probably be a lot of landscap-y things in the next few days, so thought I’d get some real biking pics in from today’s ride …
Happy Independence Day :D. (You knew there would be a lot of photos for this one, didn’t you…?)
On Saturday (Day 88), we decided to head into Chattanooga for the big bash in Coolidge park. Packed picnic paraphernalia up in the Xtracycles, and Mason and I rode the Riverwalk into downtown. A couple of the boys had gone into the city earlier in the day, and Ross was going to be coming from work later in the afternoon with Mark, so it ended up being just Mason and I doing the riding. And hauling all of the “stuff”. 😉 We had a great ride along the river, amazingly uncrowded for a Saturday.
We all met up at Coolidge Park for a great picnic, concert and fireworks. Our friend Sarah was playing with the Chattanooga Symphony in the park, which was a real treat for us, and her husband Jeff came over and joined us on the lawn while she was playing. Good times, good food and conversation, plenty of silliness … and just great to be all together on a wonderful summer evening in the park.
Day 89: Sunday was a relaxing day at home. A little swimming, a little biking, dinner out with boys and girlfriends, fireworks all over the nearby farms and neighborhoods (yes, it’s legal in TN). Mark and I had a nice ride together in the early evening, passing church picnics and people having BBQ’s. Came home to sit out on the back porch, watching fireworks, listening to music. The boys had a game of Koob going out on the lawn. Good times. 😀 Coolidge Park was a lot of fun, but today it was just nice to be away from the crowds, hanging out with the boys and friends. Perfect summer.
Crazy time of year. Endless stream of end-of-school-year events and activities, family visiting from out of town… all things I enjoy and cherish, but sometimes I just wish they didn’t have to happen all at once.
I squeezed in a very brief road ride on Sunday (officially Day 32 – no pics), as the rains were moving out and before heading to the airport to pick up visiting relatives. No riding on Monday and Tuesday; spent time with family, headed to the tennis courts for last matches of the season, and attended Jazz Band concert at the HS. It felt kind of strange to be off of the bike for those two days … but there are some things that just can’t be missed.
Earlier today, we said our goodbyes to departing family, and friends Jeff and Sarah came out to the house in the afternoon. Jeff just got a wonderful new bicycle – a Salsa Casseroll. I had been anxious to see it – a stunning bike, down to every small detail – and I was anxious to get back on my own bike. So we headed out for a nice road ride together; relaxing, fun, laughter. Such great company, a beautiful day, a wonderful ride.
It may sound selfish, but it felt great to get out and have some time to do something for myself – even for just an hour or two. Almost like re-fueling for the week ahead. I love being there for my boys, and with my family, and I wouldn’t miss these milestone moments for anything – but a little dose of open space, a little breathing room, a little fresh air can really restore some inner balance.
End of a day I am glad to see over with and behind me.
I have four wonderful, inspiring, intelligent, beautiful, amazing sons. If I have left a small mark on the world, it is only through them. When someone takes them for granted, mis-treats them – especially an adult who knows better – well, my fangs come out. And that’s all I am going to say right now.
During the mess that was today, I can only say I got by with a lot of help from my friends. I include my bicycle in that group … the brief ride I managed to take today cleared my head, calmed me down, reminded me to breathe. Anyone who rides knows the sanity-inducing power of pedaling, the simple sensation of moving forward, the meditative act of the inhale and the exhale. The rhythm.
Feeling a little more peaceful as the sun sets. Grateful for friends.
Earlier today I read this post (bikefitness.net) by a fellow cycling advocate and twitter friend. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard similar stuff before, but I found some of the blatant aggressive anti-cyclist language used by these “shock jocks”, Deminski and Doyle, particularly offensive. Cyclists have been called “arrogant”, “jerks” and “idiots” before, but I’ve never heard a public declaration by a “media” person stating “…you’d love to lob something at their heads”, and “… makes you want to go Grand Theft Auto on them, but you can’t” (in reference to the violent video game where characters are beaten to death).
Here’s the actual audio clip by Deminski and Doyle from radio station WCSX in Detroit:
OK, I found it more than sufficiently disturbing and offensive – filled with not only grossly inaccurate stereotypes about cyclists, total lack of knowledge over cycling rights and legislation, and violent and aggressive suggestions for drivers when encountering and passing cyclists. Enough said – I know it’s the game the shock jerks play. As a friend so aptly put it – don’t buy in the shock jock stupidity; it’s exactly the kind of rage they’re trying to elicit.
But the experience became more interesting … I have a brother in-law who is a morning show producer for a Detroit area radio station. Couldn’t recall the name of his station, but decided to email my sister in-law, asking if she or my BIL knew of these guys. Never even mentioned the bike spot in my query.
What came back to me literally knocked me off my chair. Not only does my brother know these shock jerks, he works at the very station – with them! It appears he is the executive producer of the show! And apparently neither my SIL or BIL find anything wrong with what was said. (At the request of, and in respect for, my husband, I have subsequently edited this post – regarding my personal feelings over this particular matter).
I extend apologies to all of my cycling friends and peeps – for this offensive garbage that was facilitated, in part, by members of my extended family.
I just have no words right now. I sent a picture off to brother- and sister-in-law … a picture of their own cycling family members. Next time they condone calling cyclists “jerks” and “idiots” deserving of having things thrown at their heads, I hope they will think of us.