This past Saturday, I drove out to GR because I wanted to see Adam before he left for UT for 6 months. First though, I had to work. I knew I would be seeing Adam on Sunday and so my original plan was to spend Saturday afternoon/evening with Carol. Then I heard what an amazingly beautiful and uncharacteristically warm day it would be for November in MI and I KNEW I really wanted to go for a bike ride. I managed to get a hold of some old friends of mine and Carol’s from our FSU days and who now live in GR but Carol has not been able to see yet. Ben is an avid swimmer, biker, runner and has done a triathlon or two and several marathons. We made plans that Ben and I would bike ride when I got to town and then the four of us would have dinner together at Ben and Pam’s.
I couldn’t have been more excited! I hadn’t been able to ride Sasha Fierce in a while and I was excited to not only to be able to do so but to be able to ride with someone else and in GR! You couldn’t get a better match up for this athletic, social, GR lover! I got delayed a bit on my way out-of-town, but I won’t go into that! As I headed west all I could see was the sun getting lower and lower in the sky. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t make it before it was too dark to ride. I kept praying that God would stop the movement of the sun for just one hour, that is all I need! Either that, or give me grace as I sped across the state! I think I got some of both.
I met up with Ben at his house and we headed out for a ride. Ben on his bike that is yet unnamed!!! How can that be??!?! I on Sasha Fierce. It was a double date! This also was my and Sasha’s first ride on the open roads, no sidewalk or trails in sight! It is amazing how safe you feel when there are 4 of you (2 humans, 2 bikes), and 2 of those 4 are pretty experienced. On this ride, I learned how to draft and I learned a little about pedal stroke and cadence. Ben was gracious and patient as I am CERTAIN he rides much faster when he goes out normally. He was also a wealth of knowledge as he gave me all sorts of tips.
The next day, with Sasha Fierce safely tucked into the back of my car, I met the boys for church then headed to lunch. While we were talking at lunch we decided it would be fun if we could get a Mt. Bike for me to ride and go Mt. Biking on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon. After a bit of searching Aaron’s girlfriend, Laura, came through and had a bike for me to use. So we quickly took off, got the bike and headed back to the Mansion (Aaron’s house) to get the boys bikes together. Who knew this would involve all sorts of tweaking and testing of all the bikes. Oiling, wiping down, tire pressure checked, changing of pedals, before finally we loaded the bikes into the truck I was driving and Sasha came out and was left with the other road bikes back at the house. Sorry Sasha!
We headed off with Adam expressing concern about the dwindling light. ABS and I assured him that we would be fine. There are no leaves on the trees anymore so it will be lighter in the forest than in the summer. I repeatedly told him that the looming darkness would all be part of the adventure. That he shouldn’t be so cautious all the time…he was a little nervous. After all, I have Mt. Biked once, Aaron has never Mt. Biked and we are about to do this with little time left for daylight. And of course he wants us to love it, I am sure.
Note to self: If Adam is expressing concern about something, TRUST HIM!!
He took us on a course that while not technically difficult (his words not mine), was rather hilly. I kept stalling out, unable to make it up the hills. At one point, I completely fell over after coming to a sudden stop as I tried to navigate between trees and up a hill. My elbow is all bruised up again from falling on a log. After falling, I rolled over, between a tree, sat up and threw my arms up and shouted, “I am OK! That was FUN!” The boys, all standing at the top of the hill watching me, just laughed. I walked up more hills than I rode up.
Adam discovered that ABS was no longer the tail of our group as planned and insisted that ABS lead and he will tail. He said that I wouldn’t get away with slacking with him behind me, “coaching” me. I tell you guys, find someone like Adam to be on your side, who knows what you can do and is willing to drive you a little bit further…and you will be golden!
This course was crazy! Very Narrow. I almost kissed a couple trees! Almost fell a few more times. Almost went careening down a mountain side. and was driven to curse as I went flying down hills. Then the darkness came and I wished I had listened to Adam. If it was treacherous during the daylight, imagine what it was in the dark!
In the end, I would do it again, if those boys would have me back that is. It was fun, I have war wounds and tons of excitement over doing things I never thought I would.