Wednesday again and it’s been three days since my last bike ride. I treated myself to a new bike this year, upgrading from the used bike I bought about eight years ago. I’m not a serious road biker and probably never will be, and serious mountain biking is pretty much laughable around here so I went and got myself a hybrid, and all of you hybrid haters can kish mir in tuchas. I kept the old bike attached to the trail-a-bike for PalKid, but the new one is all mine. Wouldn’t you know, PalKid decided this was a good time to figure out how to ride a two-wheeler, so now we get to go for actual rides together, rather than my simply pulling her along. She isn’t fast, but she keeps going.
Since it was the best way to get around as a kid, I rode a lot. I rode to middle school every day, as long as it was 40F or above, about 2 miles each way. I expanded my commuting significantly when I lived in San Francisco as a twenty-something, with a 15 mile round trip commute (in the flatter part of town). When I wasn’t commuting, I would ride over the Bridge to Marin and head out into the headlands or ride up Mt. Tam. Riding over the Golden Gate and looking back at the City is something everyone should do at some point in their lives.
Med school and residency were a biking low. I would ride around Evanston just to get around, but mostly when I traveled I was on the El or in a car. When I moved back here, getting a bike felt like getting younger—getting a good bike felt like getting younger still. I was happy to find this past weekend that my I can still do some serious riding. Pulling the kiddo has probably been a good work out, because 14 miles up and down the small hills around here felt awesome. All those little voices in the head (the pestering “get this done” ones, not the “redrum redrum” ones) just fade away when I’m pumping up a hill, or better yet, coasting down with the wind in my face.
Plenty of people ride in the winter around here but I’m fairly certain they all have the “redrum redrum” voices, so I have to get it in while I can. We don’t generally get a lot of snow around here, but the last few years have been wetter, and I’m thinking about snow shoes for a winter activity. I understand that they can give you quite a work out.
Meanwhile, on the home front, poor PalKid. She did not like having Mommy sick in the hospital. She gave up sleeping in my bed fairly shortly after MrsPal came home from the hospital and is really bouncing back, but now she’s terrified of tornadoes. We don’t get a lot of tornadoes around here. The sirens did go off early this spring when a nasty storm was approaching, and poor little PalKid came down to the basement in four layers of clothes, snow boots, and an armful of dolls. Now she “hears” sirens every day.
She’ll get through this, but meanwhile it’s affecting our bike riding. We’ve told her that tornadoes only happen “out in the country”, so now I can’t get her to come for a ride with me “out in the country.” Oops.