"I was, in fact, homesick for wildness, and when I found it I knew how intimately - how resonantly - I belonged there. We are charged with this - all of us. For the human spirit has a primal allegiance to wildness, to really live, to snatch the fruit and suck it, to spill the juice." - Jay Griffiths, Wild: an Elemental Journey

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wild Bike Ride

I love having adventures in nature because they are unpredictable.  I feel like most "adventures" to be had in suburbia and the city are in some way pre-planned, pre-packaged, and predictable.  Going to movies, out to dinner, to play mini-golf, etc. - these things are all fun, and all things I enjoy.  But there is something about going into the woods, or the desert, or the mountains, that add an element of excitement. There is no air conditioning, no guarantee of safety, and no elevator music.

Yet even in suburban Maryland, there are mini-wild adventures to be had.

Oldman and I broke in my new bike yesterday, and along with it, my butt.  I thought I was doing alright in the department of butt cushioning, but apparently even this junk in the trunk wasn't enough to stand up to that hard, mean little bike seat.  About a mile in, I stuffed the wool hat I had packed just in case it became cold later, into my pants.  That made the ride bearable - at a minimum.

The C&O Canal was a perfect, straight, hard-packed dirt trail to start off with.  The day was sunny and mild in the 70's.  There were purple phlox, grape hyacinth, and white daisy asters lining the trail on both sides.

We saw a hawk swoop down in front of us on the trail, and quickly after snatch a fish from the Potomac river.  We watched a family of at least 15 deer eating their evening meal across the canal.  We played with a frog and a few inch worms on one of our breaks.  It was a bit of a fairy tale day.

There were also a few encounters with nature that were rather . . . intimate.  Oldman and I each ate a few bugs as we whizzed by, a butterfly flew into my neck, I got a gnat stuck in my left eye, I narrowly avoided running over a fat, black snake impersonating a stick in the trail, and to top it all off - I got stung in the cleavage by a bee.  TWICE.  The little sucker got into my bra and went to town.  How's that for a few wild moments?

We had originally agreed to try to ride a minimum of 20 miles, which felt ambitious to me on my first ride in years.  As they day wore on, it was just so beautiful, and my bike was so smooth and perfect, that I didn't want to stop.  When all was said and done, we rode 37 miles over about 5 hours.

I can't wait to go out again!  As soon as these coaster-sized welts on my butt heal, that is. . .

No comments:

Post a Comment