Saturday I was on the road by before 7am to head home for a graduation celebration to honor a dear family member. Construction made the going long and arduous. While I didn't ride my bike to the actual graduation, motoring home was a great way to start the day. Being among the graduate's family and friends was far more powerful than any medicine the docs can prescribe.
Sunday was a two wheeler's dream but I felt like CRAP. Still, I could hear my bike rocking its wheels in the garage. I imagined the tiny led lights framing the licence plate randomly flashing to signal its readiness for flight. Yet, the thought of getting up from my set and putting on gear seemed to take monumental energy that would require before actually mounting the bike--assuming I manage to get the gear on.
My friend, Claire, called and volunteered to retrieve me. We'd plan to get together on Sunday. She is a second daughter from whom I always love hearing. She's a delightful breath of fresh air. Her heart is one gigantic jelly-bean--all sweet! Our walk around Chinatown and lunch at Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant reminded me that this is auto immune disease is easy to yield to. It difficult to get out, I had to push myself.
Once out there, however, I feel light and unloaded of the dead weight that seems to anchor down my shoulders and cement my feet in place.
At the end, Claire dropped me off at the apartment and once inside it, I could feel the exhaustion revisit. I rested an hour and it seemed to recharge my battery a bit. It would be sinful not to get out and enjoy the weather. I pushed myself out of bed and geared up for a short moto ride. My trip was short despite having all the best long ride conditions:. the sky, a most brilliant blue and temps in the low 70s. I swear, the bike looked downright forlorn, parked in an near empty garage. I flicked the button to release it security system and it flashed a series of seemingly happy red and yellow lights that tickled my spirit.
The streets were filled with people. The pack-oriented urban sport riders dominated Lake Shore Drive as they weaved in deep leans all along north and south Rt. 41. My short ride took me to the Osaka Gardens in Jackson Park, a beautifully harmonious example of East meets (urban) West. It's a small place that is most often isolated and tuck far enough off LSD to make the escape feel like a
On this day, I saw more people than I've ever seen gathered here. I took a bunch of lenses and walked around the garden and snapped whatever filled my eyes--without regard to anything else--just taking pictures to remember comforting scenes and to forget the deep, creeping ache in my innermost bones that still catches me off guard.
Not any interesting pictures of my beloved bike as one has to park far from the garden. The short ride was a good one.
The return, even better as Chicago's breath taking skyline is an unabashed welcome to the big city with the small town disposition (IMHO). I thought of the videocam again. Had it been strapped on the bike, I could have shown just how gorgeous a day it was. And, I am sick--literally--and figuratively about not being able to pile on the miles.
To me amassing miles signals movement, transformation--even voluntary displacement; it means stepping outside my ordinary and embracing new experiences.
It's about small and large acts of courage and risking-taking on mysterious machines and strange people and unexplored places. So, I did lie. In a way. With me it is about the miles and the more of them I cover, the more journeys I've taken and the more I learn about myself on my own.
My challenge then is to find transformative moments in the small roads and paths--even in the congested urban street as well as along remote back roads. I'm trying to be attentive to this regardless of what I manage to venture. 'Cause the big trips may be on hold; in fact, the season appears threatened. (Fingers crossed, prayers sent).
I will write more on my meeting with a fellow blogger this week. Here's a hint on his identity: twisted refers to both his mind and the roads he likes to ride! Meeting him made a drab day dynamic! And, thanks to consulting at length with another blogger pal, this site will soon have nice video!