This picture was taken almost five years ago now! Hard to believe. This was the second time in my adult life that I’d been on a bike. Tim and I were on Mackinaw Island, in Michigan, and had rented this bike for the day. We had a blast. And have talked about it time and again.
Sooo…now that we’re in our new life and doing the things we’ve said we’re going to do…
For Christmas this year, we asked for a bicycle built for two. I didn’t really think we’d get one. It was kind of silly thing to ask for. We’re not kids anymore. (Okay, maybe we are, we asked for the bike!) I wasn’t surprised that there wasn’t a bike under the tree. But then, I forgot, for just a second, about Santa Claus. I’ve always believed in Santa. I’m dead serious about that. Santa isn’t just a guy in a red suit. He is the spirit of Christmas. Of people rising to larger than life occasions, reaching deeply into themselves and finding the ability to do more than they think they can. Not in gifts, but in life. Not for self, but for others. And Santa is also magic. If you believe, it will come to you. In some fashion. And sometimes, even if you don’t believe, it will come to you.
The presents were all opened. We all felt loved and gifted and happy and ready to play. And then Mom reaches up to the tree for an ornament. She hands it to Tim and I. Inside is a picture of our bicycle built for two. And the money to order it. There were too many choices and she wasn’t sure which choice to make. I had no idea, either, once I started actually looking. But Tim’s a biker. He knew. And this past week – our sleek, 21 speed, silver bullet arrived. What a gift! Far beyond what I’d expected. I am now experiencing my mountains and blue skies and sunshine in a more intimate, glorious way.
The first day we took the bike out in our neighborhood – we rode a couple of miles to a place we like to eat and had lunch, and took the long way home. I couldn’t wait to get back out. And on Saturday I got my wish. Tim and I tend to start out with a goal in mind and end up adding goals along the way. We were just going to go for a little ride. But we live out at the base of the Superstition Mountain. The roads don’t just curve around in a neighborhood – they go straight out to the mountain. And dead end. We took one. And there Iwas, with the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, and all around me the air of the mountains seeping into my skin and my lungs. The views were glorious. And we weren’t experiencing them encased in a vehicle. We were right there with them. Biking is much different from skating. While skating is still my first love, and we are still skating, on skates you are limited to clean pavement. On the bike, we could just go. And we did. Really far. Our little ride turned into so many miles I lost track of them. We rode to the mountain. And then into town. We passed a shop I’d been wanting to visit and went in there. We rode by Mom’s house. And eventually, we made it home.
On Sunday I paid for that ride. I’d used muscles I hadn’t used since I was a kid. They let me know they were there. I am very thankful for them. And we’ve made an agreement – those muscles and I. I promise to pay better attention to them, to give them a chance to enjoy their re-emergence on a less rigorous schedule. And they promise to take me on many many years of glorious rides.
How about the rest of you? Anyone like to ride bikes?