Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The wheels of the bike go round and round

My mind works in mysterious ways.  When I think about writing a blog entry, I’m often stymied.  I sit down, write something anyway, and soon .  .  . voila!  The Jack  Sprat story came to me like that, for sure.

That’s happening today as well.  Just a short time ago found me in the garden.  While attempting to annihilate the weeds, I swung the hoe with purpose and puzzled over what to write.  I came up shorthanded.  After cleaning up, I nonetheless faced the blank screen of my computer.  I began to wonder how I could relate the rhythmic movement of my hoe—Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!—to something more meaningful.  The wheels began to turn. 

I was suddenly thinking of the turning of my friends’ bicycle wheels as they travel the countryside.  Joan and Mike first dipped their wheels in the Atlantic at Yorktown back in May.  The two of them made it through the Blue Ridge Mountains relatively unscathed, are currently crossing the lonely stretch of land called Kansas, and will soon face the Rockies.  Their ultimate destination . . . Astoria, Oregon.

Their trip has not been easy.  Besides Mother Nature throwing them curve balls in the form of severe thunderstorms and flooding and the forces of Mr. Bike Nature sending them flat tires and chain dilemmas, they both initially underwent physical issues that wouldn’t have happened had they undergone the TransAm trip a few years ago.  But the two of them—one 60, the other a bit younger—didn’t let their enthusiasm wane.  Instead, they viewed the issues as minor challenges to overcome.

And I’ve never known Joan and Mike to shirk a challenge. 

My ideal bike trip takes me 10 miles along a well used path in excellent weather.  But doing the TransAm is something these two want so badly that they’re willing to overlook discomfort.  They love the slow-paced sight-seeing, the adventure, and, most of all, the people they meet.

I think they’re crazy, but these are two crazy friends I deeply admire.  At the risk of sounding sappy, Joan and Mike are my heroes.

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