Saturday, August 25, 2012

Taking care of me

What are you going to do today, simply for yourself? Do you set aside days or parts of days to cater to your personal needs? Some of us don't know how to do that. Some of us so totally immerse ourselves in responsibilities towards business, charities or other people that we forget about what it is that keeps us happy and we wind up being miserable. Well, I am here to tell you that is not the case with me today. As soon as I extract myself from this keyboard I am going for an early morning bicycle ride through the backstreets and trails surrounding where I sit right now. Going back and forth, further and further North is and exciting experience and gratifying accomplishment. I am a casual bicycle rider. I don't set out on any given morning with a certain amount of miles to travel. Wherever my legs carry me is good enough. Today I just want to ride for the sake of riding. Say hi to whomever I meet, stop to search for fish in the creek, pass the early golfers walking the dew covered course, back yard gardeners harvesting, folks sitting on the porch enjoying a fresh coffee. A ride this early is far less crowded, less people or traffic is riding without the stress of fending for my life.

The ride around the lake will proceed on another day. Today I need to just ride. I wonder of any of this means anything to anyone else other than me. But then again, this morning I am taking care of me. Just letting you know. Maybe I'll even have a cookie. Wow! This taking care of me opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Maybe you want to give it a shot. Good Luck!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Biking North a bit more

Not much time this morning, lots of work starting early. A good day at the office.

Yesterday afternoon found me pulling into Frankfort Michigan on my bicycle trip. I'd left Manistee early as the sun rose in the Eastern sky. Surprisingly, I was not the only biker going North. Two people passed as I was unloading and waved a friendly hello without slowing down. One on a traditional bike and one on a recumbent. The weather was cool but not frosty, a welcome change from a few short weeks ago with the temperatures in the 90's and flirting with 100*. Onekema was my original objective but with my early start, good weather and pretty good leg strength I met my support guy and decided to go further. The road was very bicycle friendly with wide side paths, I was put at ease with all that room concerning passing vehicles. I did not pass any other bicycles but was overtaken a dozen times by both single riders and groups as well. No stopping for chit chat though. We were all pretty intent on the ride. Probably because of the healthy sized hills with the magnificent views spread out before us. Taking my time and using all the gears properly I felt encouraged by my slow but sure method of grinding up those hills and the suddenly being rewarded by a smooth glide down the other side with little effort. I did stop for a few pictures before the camera batteries died. I took apart my rear tail light and used those batteries for a few more pictures but they also died and some for the most panoramic scenes went unrecorded. I hope to get a few when I ride up to begin again.

It is difficult to ascertain exactly what type of experience I was expecting on this trip. Whatever it was is definitely not what I am getting. My expectations were based upon my walk around the lake almost 50 years ago. I am a different person, subject to totally different perceptive abilities. The ride is not even close to the walking as far as observation and ability to penetrate the surrounding countryside. Especially the lake shore itself. I am still dealing with that. I am still finding the true experience. Hard to describe. I'm working on that skill too. So far by car, on the roads the miles amount to about 188. By wandering bicycle I passed 231 miles yesterday. For a hardened purist bicycle rider that is just about a two day ride. For me it is monumental. A matter of perspective isn't it?..................Later............Joe
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