When I was 13 I saved up my money and I bought my first real bike. Maybe I should rewind a little. The day before and the day of my 13th birthday I road my first Seattle to Portland bike ride. it was 200 miles and it took 2 LONG days. My first year I rode a Huffy 10-speed. We called it the 'pipe bike' because it weighed in at no less than 50 pounds (that may be an exaggeration, but it weighed ALOT).
With that first big bike ride I proved to my parents that maybe I would stick with cycling. I dreamed of saving up for a Trek 1420. A top notch road bike with a triple chainring on the front. As a 14 year old, more gears was better. I eventually settled for a Trek 1100 which wasn't quite as nice as the 1420, but it still had way more gears than I would ever need. I rode that bike for years.
Last week I bought a 1992 Trek 1400 on Ebay. It is essentially the same as a 1420, except with 14 gears instead of 21. Today I took my dream bike on it's first ride. Actually, it has probably been on lots of rides, but it was the first that she did with me.
I have named the bike 'my therapist' because that is what it is.
The plan for the day was to carry enough food and water to spend about 2 hours lost. I succeeded. I headed for horse country and started my morning watching a horse rolling around in the snow. I wished I had a camera; I would have called the picture, "snow angels".
I went over Zion's Hill which, from my understanding, was one of the first settlements of free blacks in the area.
I found a mill next to a river. It appeared to me as if the river was the original source of power for the mill and I wonder if it still is (I doubt it, but how cool would that be?). By the mill was a stone fence built with old mill stones. It was a beautiful place.
There was a place where I briefly found a busy road that I didn't want to spend a lot of time on. That was the only part of the ride that was even remotely bad.
As I returned toward the city I saw a woodpecker with a bright red head and thought of the old "Woody-Woodpecker" cartoons. I'm sure that Woody was taken from this type of woodpecker. I also saw a small group of cardinals, all bright red against the snow covered backdrop.
The thing I liked the most about my ride was the opportunity to dream. I thought of a short film I watched last night about a couple ladies in Portland that became 'backyard farmers'. instead of starting a CSA, which requires a bunch of land and water rights, etc. They started a business farming in other peoples' yards. So if you want fresh produce, you call these ladies to make your backyard produce food. They come weekly and weed and leave anything they picked next to your door. I think it's a great idea. I dream of doing something like that.
I got home, changed clothes and was instantly slapped with reality. My taxes are almost finished and I should be able to file them next week.