Sunday, March 7, 2010

First Bike Ride in March


After the snowiest and possibly gloomiest February Indiana has ever seen (since the ice age) we can bike!

Okay, the high of 43 degrees wasn't exactly toasty warm. In fact, last year I wouldn't bike until it got up to 50 degrees.

But then I decided I would bike across the country. I read Greg Grammelspacher's blog about his similar effort. Thirty-two degrees at the Grand Canyon? Biking through snow in the Smokies?

OK. I'm gonna have to get tougher.

So I bought underarmour (a life saver on a cold day) and some warm socks and a balaclava and my new low is 40 degrees.

And it was a beautiful day to bike!

People were out walking dogs, jogging, biking and enjoying the Indiana sunshine. I saw a mink (!) in my neighborhood not 100 yards from my house. I got hit by a car.

OK, that wasn't a highlight, but it got my heart rate up.

I was in the median of Hazel Dell ready to turn left. I looked behind me to a big van advancing into the median to turn left - coming right at me! Survivalist instinct kicked in and I immediately used the most important safety equipment on hand - I screamed.

Luckily the driver heard my panicked cry and hit his brakes in time to stop just as he bumped into my back tire.

I think he was more scared than I was (which was a lot!). He jumped out and asked me dozen times if I was all right. He checked the bike over thoroughly - made sure the back tire still spun true. And finally with one last apology he gingerly returned to the road.

Lesson for bikers - assume all cars are out to get you. Watch all directions. Be ready to yell, jump off the road, or do whatever it takes to save your skin. Other than that biking is a pretty relaxing experience.

And it was a delightful bike ride Saturday. My parents had a crisis last year (more about that later) that landed them in Zionsville Meadows - a lovely facility that is exactly an 18 mile bike ride from my Fishers home.

So on a day like this early in the season, I bike 106th street past Carmel mansions and charming downtown Zionsville to visit my folks. I have a nice little stop at mile 10 at a Subway for a chocolate chip cookie.

With a late start I didn't have long to visit with my parents - just long enough to check out their new draperies - and then I turned back toward home.

On the way home, one of my favorite stops - right along the White River - is the Wapihani Nature preserve. This time of year it's full of the first migrating song birds. I heard Spring of the Earth from the newly arrived red-winged blackbirds.

Home by 5:30, just in time for a lovely family dinner - KC newly arrived home for Spring Break, sister Cally visiting from Chicago, Mom on one of her rare outings  from Zionsville (Dad wasn't feeling well), brother Nic and his family (who we never see enough), TJ, Tom and kitty.

Tom fixed delicious grass fed steak, asparagus, potatoes, and risotto. I must've forgotten one of the rules for eating with a large family because by the time I had savored his wonderful cranberry-walnut salad we were out of steak and potatoes!

But so nice to be together as a family.

 We are very lucky.
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