Posts Tagged With: Cycling

Peeling Off the Layer of Years

It’s Gratituesday! Today I am grateful for the bicycle I have. It was a gift  a year or two ago from a friend who was clearing out her possessions for an anticipated move overseas.  I’m sure she had no idea how much her gift would bless my life.

That bicycle has been one of my essential forms of transportation. Four drivers and sometimes only two cars has necessitated some juggling. Having the freedom to hop on my bike for a run to the library or the post office or to visit a friend has freed up my schedule and saved me hours and gas money and frustration.

The build of this particular bike lets me sit in such a way that my back doesn’t tire out and get sore, which I thought was simply one of the sacrifices bike riding required until I met this bike. Now I can ride for miles and still feel relatively young and agile in spite of the often harsh realities of my aging body.

Roger on Richland Avenue with Schwinn Bicycle

My first bicycle looked much like this one. It was a hand-me-down from my aunt. (Photo credit: roger4336)

There’s nothing else I know of that brings back the joys of childhood as readily as a bike ride. Such a sense of independence grabs hold of you when you throw your leg over the seat and set the wheels of a bike in motion. Feeling the wind blowing past peels off layers of years mentally and emotionally.

There’s the added bonus of being able to take off in the early light, helmet on, breezing through an exhilarating morning past some of my favorite sights and sounds. Getting my heart pumping and my lungs filled with fresh oxygen by pushing those pedals starts the day off with a burst of energy and joy. What a wonderful way for a day to begin.

I celebrate the bicycle every time I ride. In fact, I’m celebrating life as I ride, feeling youthful, free, energized, grateful. What joy!

Surely someone has created a worldwide holiday in honor of the humble, practical, fun-loving bicycle.

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Categories: Exercise, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Why the People at the Grocery Store Were So Friendly, and Other Answers

Following the wise saying that says, “When you can’t sleep, write,” (which I just made up three minutes ago) I am now writing at 1:15 a.m.  If you’ve read my “Night Owl, Early Bird” post you’d remember that I’m definitely a morning person.  My brain engages and starts humming just before the last stars wink out.  That’s about five hours from now.  Fair warning, with middle of the night posts, no telling what will happen. (Three posts in one, perhaps?)

THE GROCERY STORE FRIENDLIES

Shopping Carts

Shopping Carts (Photo credit: Universal Pops)

Despising grocery shopping, I try to get the task done when the fewest number of people will be clogging the aisles and slowing down the process. That would be, you guessed it, early in the morning.  I try to show up presentable, not in PJ’s, not in sweaty gym clothes, not in my dirt encrusted grass stained gardening garb.  I clean up, I put on some lip gloss, I brush my hair.  I even bring a list. In, out, done. No debating over the produce. no loitering near the dairy.

Most people pretend extreme interest in some label, and avoid eye contact, especially in the morning.(Probably because they are wearing PJ’s or sweaty gym clothes or haven’t combed their hair.) Just sayin’.

One morning in particular I noticed that the few people I did see in the nearly deserted grocery store appeared very cheery. They smiled at me. Smiles all around.  A store full of morning people?!? What are the odds, I thought.  Maybe I had a glow about me.  Maybe the stars aligned just right.  Maybe the music playing over the intercom struck a happy chord in the lot of them.

Even the usually surly cashier, whose line I tried to avoid, was friendly and smiled at me. Weird and weirder.  I was going to get on the internet and figure out what cosmic occurrence might be in play to explain such unexpected pleasantness.

Putting my bags into the back seat of the car I bumped my head on the top of the door opening.  Not my head exactly.  The blow felt cushioned by something.

Hair rollers

Hair rollers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I reached up to console my noggin.  What did I find but a hair roller still tucked in on top of my head.  The very same velcro hair roller my own hands had rolled in to poof up the flat spot in my otherwise nicely coiffed hair. I had told myself not to forget to take it out before I left, then went off to find my keys.  And forgot about it.

All those friendly smiles?  Restrained laughter.

Glad I could bring some cheer into someone’s day.  In this case, many someones.

ON YOUR LEFT

My cousin reintroduced me to bicycling in Denver a couple of years back.  It was my first time on a road bike in a few years. She taught me some basic ideas, like how to shift, how to brake, basic biking etiquette.  We even discussed ahead of time who takes the lead and which of us drops behind  into single file when other bikers are on the path coming towards us or passing us from behind.  I learned the term “on the left” meant that another biker was coming up from behind and was going to pass on the left.  On hearing “on the left” the correct thing to do is to move to the right so they have room pass on the left.

We had a great ride that day. (I think I just found another blog post topic for the near future.) But I digress.

The point I meant to make was that I learned a bit of biking jargon and etiquette and gained some confidence in the sport of bicycling. On returning home I started riding my clunky mountain bike on our flat desert trails. I started using the term “on the left” and felt like a real biker.  When I didn’t ride, but went walking instead, I quickly moved over when a biker chirped, “on your left!”  I felt I had learned to share the trail, or the sidewalk, quite amicably.  I hardly had to hear more than the word “on” from behind and I’d start moving to the right to make room.

Biker

Not the actual biker…

Imagine my surprise (is that a cliché? note to self, find out!)  Sorry.  Imagine my surprise when, this very morning, I mean yesterday morning, since it’s now almost 2 a.m. the day after. Sorry again.

Imagine my surprise, as I’m out for my morning walk, when I hear a biker holler, “on your right” and I automatically move to the right but then, mid step, realize that I just moved into the biker’s path.  I was certain I’d be mowed over, or at the very least see a biker go flying past as he rocketed over the front of his handlebars.   I actually started to curl up and brace myself for impact.  Luckily the biker swerved or braked or had guardian angels, or all three.  No one was worse for the experience.

I’m sure the bicyclist swore under his breath as he rode off down the path.  Maybe his life had flashed before his eyes.  I hope it was a happy one if it did.  His adrenaline was probably ramped up a bit, don’t you think?  Mine was.

Anyway, if you talk to anyone who tells you about this dumb woman out for a walk who jumped into his path when he gave fair warning, you’ve now heard my side of the story.

Fireworks

Spicy Zingers (or Fireworks)

CHINESE-MEXICAN FUSION

Dinner out with friends tonight  (last night? whatever) at a new place was mind-blowing.  Confusion ruled my taste buds but what happy taste buds!

Who thinks of these things?  A quesadilla with a ginger-sauced chicken and real cheese?  Oh my sweet Susanna!!  Dip it in the salsa/hoisin, or was it plum sauce/mole, and the neural pathways don’t know what to make of it all.  Refried black beans? A work and a wonder of magnificence!!  Finished off the meal with a crispy-edged, soft-middled, cinnamon snicker doodle cookie and the evening was taste bud nirvana.

That might explain the tiny taste of insomnia going on here.  Too many competing spicy sensations zinging around in my head.  Oh, but it was worth it.

I hope you’re smiling!  I am.

Categories: Exercise, Food, Humor | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

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