Yesterday I decided a few things.
One: create a blog about things that make me happy.
Two: do something that will make me happy (one of the reasons for the blog in the first place.)
So what would be my first happy undertaking? That was easy: going for a ride on my new bike.
I recently bought a bike with the money I got back from my tax return. I hadn’t had a bike since I was about 10 years old, so I didn’t know how I’d fare, but it turns out that it’s just like – well – riding a bike. Isn’t it cool how you never really forget how to maneuver that thing? I can remember learning how to ride it and it seemed like a painfully slow process, although I’m sure it only took a week or so.
My older brothers had been on their bikes for ages before I learned to ride, and I inherited the little black BMX with the number 6 on the front that used to be theirs. I was so proud of that bike – one time my brothers and I were sailing down a steep hill and had to make a quick right-hand turn. I hit a patch of sand and skidded out big time, but somehow kept control of the bike. I’ll never forget my brother Jon throwing his fists into the air and hollering “YES! Sarah, that was AWESOME!” while I laughed, pretended the whole thing was intentional and thanked God that my drawers were still dry.
Anyhow, after Dad taught me how to ride my bike up in Pancake Bay one summer, I discovered that I was a natural. I loved riding my bike (first the little BMX, then the purple panda bike that had plastic wheels, making it entirely unsuitable for going uphill or stopping, but was so beautiful that I just HAD to have it, and then the teal-coloured one that would eventually be stolen after I left it at the park – go figure) anywhere and everywhere.
And now, some 20-odd years after my last one was stolen, here I am back in the saddle. And it feels great. At least it will once I get a tougher biker’s bum.
I haven’t been out very many times yet, so I decide to head down to the shores of Lake Muskoka in Milford Bay. As soon as I start out, I wish I had some water with me, but I press on, happy as a clam. I pass locals walking their dogs, kids on the way to the store to buy a popsicle, and try not to inhale too many bugs as I wave and say hello.
Now, part of the fun of being on your bike in the country is the peace and quiet. It gives you a chance to clear your head and focus on nothing but your beating heart and the open road. No music, no distractions. On the way to the lake, there’s a cute little cottage sign that says “So-and-so’s cottage down by the bay”. Cute. Happy.
The ride to the lake is great. I stop and take a few pictures, talk to a few more dog-walkers and turn around to make my way home. As I pedal, I notice that I’m humming to myself.
Hmm hmm hmmm HMMMMMMMMM where the watermelons grooooooow. Uh oh. Down by the bay, indeed.
Again, I press on. I figure this song will be stuck in my head for the remainder of the trip, so I try to embrace it. Have you ever seen a mime, swinging on a vine? haha laughing and biking is a great combo!
But as I pedal, I see that big hill in front of me. Obviously, I didn’t think of how I’d get back up it when I was gleefully sailing down it just minutes ago. And there it looms. Keeping this happiness experiment in mind, I resolve to bike up that thing, no matter how difficult it might seem. I shall be victorious.
I gear down (up? you know what I mean) and start the attack. At first I think I’m doing pretty well, until I notice that the song in my head has slowed to the pace of my pedaling “back… to… my… ho… uh… oooooooome. I dare… not… g…g…g…” And that’s when it starts: the Wheel Wobble. The one when you’re going way too slowly on your bike and your wheels start to wobble like you’re just going to fall over sideways.
I had to fight it. Even though I’m not back to my expert childhood biking self, I stand up on my pedals and give it my all. Finally, chug by chug, I get to the top. Victory is mine! No one in the world is as strong as I! I cannot be defeated!
My lungs are burning and my eyes are watering. There may or may not have been a car and pedestrian pulled over, faces filled with concern, about to ask if I need assistance while I was climbing that hill. Nevermind – I made it!
And as silly as that sounds, it made me quite happy. That’s happy undertaking number one.
Love From Sarah