Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In Four Miles..

It started out innocent enough. My daughter had softball practice and we were just a bit late, as usual. This time because my daughter couldn't find her long pants for practice (yeah, its cold here right now). So after the bit of drama, we arrived at practice. I parked the car and the first thing Bug always asks, "Mom, can I go down to the river?". First let me just say, that the "river", is by no definition, a river. It's more of a creek, but we will humor him and let him call it a river. Of course, he gets the same answer he always gets, "No, Bug. Not without me. You can't go down there alone." "But Mooooooommmmmmmmmmmm!!" is the reply I receive. His "but mooooommmmm" reply and his puppy dog eyes force me to give in and take his hand to go walk down to the river.

He is skipping along beside me and I ask him what he would think if we brought our bikes with us the next time we came and we could ride the trail. He stops dead in his tracks, looks at me and says, "What if I fall in the river, mom?". I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit as this has never crossed his mind before. Not once, when numerous times before, he got right down by the water, chucking in rocks and twigs and grass, did he think he would fall in. I smiled down at him and I said, "Then I would jump in with you so we would both be wet." That made him laugh and start skipping again.

Once we got to the river, he did his usual. He found a few twigs and dropped them in the water on one side of the bridge, then ran across to the other side to see it come out the pipe on the other side. He gets the biggest kick out of that and never seems to tire of it. When he can't find any more twigs, he resorts to grass. I can only stand there and smile. Such simple pleasures that bring joy to children.

After a bit, I walked up to him and said, "Come on Little Bug, let's go for a walk on the trail." He runs over to me and takes my hand and starts skipping again. He was actually excited about this until we came to the overpass on the trail. He knew that above us would be cars passing by and he didn't seem quite pleased that he had to go under that. I coaxed him on and we continued on our walk. We came to the "hill" (I still hate that hill) and as we were walking up it we talked about the rules of the trail. I tell him it's important to stay on the right hand side, so if there are any other path users, we can see them coming and allow them their space, but also to allow others to pass us if we were too slow for them. He kept asking me when the cars were coming. **giggling here** I keep telling him that any vehicle with a motor is not allowed on the path: so no cars or motorcycles. He seemed to feel better when I showed him the sign that said this. I pointed to it and asked him to read it. He smiled and said, "ok mom".

After we go over the rules of the path, and the rules of crossing the streets to prepare him for actually riding on the trail, we start to get silly. As every boy of 6 does, he starts picking up sticks. I actually think this is a programed response. Boy sees stick. Boy picks up stick. Boy pokes whatever he sees with stick. Boy throws stick away. Boy sees new stick. Repeat. The first stick he chose he decided that it was going to be a galactic taser stick and he would poke me with it and act like it was electrocuting me. I comply and vigorously shake making a complete fool of myself in front of passing cars and homes. But it made him laugh, so who was I to care?

Not far down we saw a chicken. A lawn ornament chicken. At first it scared the willies out of Bug, because he thought it was real. Once he realized it was plastic, we pretended that it was chasing us down the trail, clucking and pecking at us. I told him he needed his Chicken Sword! Do you know what he picked up? Yup. A stick! So we battled the chicken till it gave up and then we did a victory dance.

We were having so much fun. After playing with swords and chickens, we found a few snake holes and poked and prodded at them with no result of a snake. We saw all kinds of birds and called out the names of the ones we knew. That brought on the story of how he saw a Blue Necked Crow (I think this is what he called it) and he wished he could see another one because the black crows were boring. Who knew? Heh.

By now, he was getting thirsty, and so was I. I asked him if he was tired and he said he wasn't. So we trekked on. I could tell he was getting tired but he wanted to get that drink, and I promised him a small treat as well. We made our way to Walgreen's and purchased our just deserved Propel waters and he got a package of Runts for him and a package of Dots for his sister. I was good, and stayed out of the candy aisle! We took in the water and were happy campers again and off we went.

The trip back was a bit slower. At this point we had already walked about two miles and little Bug was getting tired. I felt bad, because for him, it was a long way, so I knelt down and let him climb on my back for a piggy back ride. Wow..that kid is heavy!! I walked with him like that for about two blocks and then he got bored. I personally think, he was disappointed in missing all the passing sticks, because you know that is the first thing he picked up after letting him down.

We got back to the "hill" and began our descent as he taught me the words to Okki-Tokki-Unga. This was the most fun I had on the walk. He thought I was so funny because I kept messing up the words. If you looked at the link and saw the lyrics, you'd know why. All of a sudden, low and behold, the boy has to pee. ACK!! Of course there are no bathrooms or porta-potties on the trail, so what are we to do? Well..I look around, make sure no one is near, we run under the bridge and well...ya know. Boys will be boys. At least it is convenient. =)

We finally make it back to the river just in time for my daughters practice to be over. He takes one last stop at the side of the river, throws his stick in hand down into the water, runs to the other side to watch it come out, and beams me a great big smile as he sees it poke out the other side. He grabs my hand ( love it when he does this) and we walk back to the car until he sees his sister and he goes on and on how we just walked four miles. After his exasperating tale to her, he turns to me and says, "That was really fun, mom. Thanks!" I think I melted right there on the road. four miles!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

3 Weeks

Today marks three weeks since I started riding. It seems like much more time has passed than what has. However, in that three weeks, I have trucked 49 miles and have learned a lot of things in regards to cycling. Forty-nine miles in three weeks doesn't seem like too much, as I know those that ride more than that in one morning, but, it's still a start for me and one day...I will get there too.

Right now I am happy doing my eight to nine mile rides when I am able. I would love to do it every day but its almost impossible with the kids and sports right now. There is just not enough time in the day. I am hoping soon to push my distance to 10 to 12 miles and go at least 3 times a week. Right now I am only averaging two times a week. Better than nothing, I suppose.

I have noticed the ride getting easier and each ride I shave a bit of time off so I am getting faster too (with the exception of the really windy days). Now if I could just get my odometer thingy to work, I could actually see and measure how fast I am going. I actually think it will help me push harder knowing how fast I am going and to at least keep the same pace. I find myself slowing down on the way back and have to remind myself to go faster.

I have learned, because I take the same route each time, where the easy spots are and where the most difficult parts are. I know that when the wind is hating me, where it will be a bit easier and where it will just about kill me, such as this one hill. I know that I have to go up that damn thing and it is difficult enough as it is, but when that wind blows against me I seriously think I am going to die. Today was one of those days. I already know its coming, so I mentally prepare and increase speed to help me get a good start. Just before I reach the top my legs are screaming, especially my thighs. Today they felt like they were going to implode on themselves, making me think of a possible episode for Happy Tree Friends. (Disclaimer: Not for the faint of heart...heh. Don't say I didn't warn you first!) Well, lucky for me and my future in cycling, my legs made it, barely, to the top of that hill!! I hate that hill...

I have also learned a bit of what to wear and what not to wear ( no I am not talking about that show on If its cold, I know I had better cover my ears and wear gloves or I won't be able to feel them at rides end. Although, I need to get different gloves, the ones I have will make due but I really need something with a better grip, or just with grip, actually! I still don't have a helmet (please don't yell at me). I KNOW I need to get one, I just haven't yet. If I say that I just can't decide on a color, will that give me a pass? Pink is good, but I am kinda stuck on orange right now, or what about green? No? Yeah, well, it was worth a try. Heh...! What else? Oh....tops. Much Much better to wear a tighter fitting top to break the wind (no, not that kind of wind...sheehs), but on cold days I must wear a sweatshirt and that helps nada but it keeps me warm and in the saddle!! Today I wore a pair of pants that I will never wear again, or at least not whilst riding. They had this liner in them that kept sticking to my annoying was that? REALLY ANNOYING!!!

Oh, one more thing I have learned is how many more idiots are out there driving cars. I always knew they existed just from driving to and from work but its even worse when you are on a bike. A lot, not all, but a lot have no regard for one on a bike and that really is too bad. I am always careful, but now I realize I have to be even more cautious and be more watchful.

Ok...I have babbled on enough for one night. Thanks for reading and until next time...keep pedaling =)

A little something new

I am always looking for new ways to write in my blog, or at least new and different things anyway. I enjoy writing but have run into a bit of a block lately. Soooo.... I have been brainstorming to try and get some much needed inspiration. There has to be a way to get my creative juices flowing again. Besides, NaNoWriMo is only seven months away and I need the practice. I plan to participate again this year, only this time my goal is to complete it. Well, that was my goal last year too, but life kind of happened and blew me in a different direction, sadly.

What I plan to do, no matter how cheesy it sounds now, is to commit to one "subject" on at least one day of the week, every week. This will ensure I write at least once a week (hopefully more, but to start, one). I chose Friday to be "the day" (starting next Friday). The topics will revolve around those silly fortune cookies. I found a website that will generate random fortunes to be used for inspiration on what to write about. Its a bit odd, yes, I know this. However, if you think about it, the topics are endless and it will give me the opportunity to write about things I may never have thought to write about before. No? Well....we'll see. I am going to give it a go and see how it pans out. Wish me luck.



Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not always nice

I picked up this shirt today because it made me laugh and I know my friends will appreciate Just goes to show you, I'm not always the "nice, sweet, girl"...... =)

Monday, April 14, 2008

One fantastic luxury

These last 4 months have been consumed by a very long winter and lack of sunshine. I decided since it was eventually going to start to get warm again, that I needed to get a workout or something started in my life. Looking in the mirror each day is not a pretty sight, sad to say.

I had bought a new bike last year with the intention of riding a lot more than I did, so I thought I would start there. I had a bit more motivation this time as they finally finished the bike trail that the extended out close to me. A little over a week ago I took my first ride. I surprised myself in going 8 miles. Small feat for some, but HUGE for me at this point. Before I set out, I had a location in mind to get to and once I got there, I had to come back to get home! So off I went...

During the ride, I realized how much I actually missed it. I had forgotten what it was like to get away from everything. To actually have an hour or so completely by myself, left to my own thoughts without interruption, was bliss. Granted the ride wasn't a piece of cake but it was nice to just ........ be. I had no worries but to get from point A to point B. Well that, and praying I didn't' bite the dust because I wasn't wearing a helmet! I probably should really get one of those since this will be a frequent practice of mine, but how does one look cute in those bulky things? *grins*

So now I sit here with a sore arse (get your mind out of the gutter people) and stiff legs, but grinning from ear to ear after my third ride (25 miles total) knowing I will get back on and ride again soon, pending the sun cooperates with me! It was funny though, during the ride the song Pain by Three Days Grace played. Click Here to See and hear \"Pain\"The lyrics (having nothing to do with exercise) "Cause I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all" kind of stuck out. At least if you feel pain, you know that your actually doing something, that eventually you will get better, faster. There is always a goal that you can set, surpass, and set new goals. How amazing is that?

Thinking about this made me think of a submission that was posted on on March 31st. It was a woman who had gotten a tattoo in French. We will never know what it actually meant for her, but it rang true and I thought I would share it here if you didn't see it.

Faut souffrir pour ĂȘtre belle - essentially meaning one must suffer to be beautiful

Anyways, I am babbling now. I think you get the jist...Happy Trails...

Until next time...Ciao!