As we cross of the days on our dollar tree calender, distancing ourselves from spring we move closer and closer to summer. Each day brings a new level of hot. I find my swamp cooler works less and less efficiently and there's not enough ice in the freezer to quench my thirst. This is day four of our Bike Riding Experiment (for lack of better title) and what a time we picked to execute it!-when sweltering heat draws nearer, breezes swing through less and less often and thus when caught resemble something of an exotic delicacy.
I recently was out of town on work (how grown up do I sound!) and my husband found himself depressed at home, driving only to work and back. He threw himself in to woodworking and found much relief in the sanding down of ugly wood, making beautiful something that was once old and ready for the trash heap. He called me victoriously one day, and ended up proposing this very experiment; “I've made it through three days on ten dollars worth of gas!” I'm a nanny for a two year old little boy named Austin, and my jaw dropped so furiously it nearly hit the kid on top of the head! I'll tell you a secret, and I trust you'll use your discretion and never breathe our secret shame to another soul; we had been spending ten dollars a day on gas. I don't like to think about that too hard or too often, as it brings me to the brink of sobbing tears. Oh the loss of a small fortune! Spent on grocery store trips! Something had to give, and Marcos' trial run was all the motivation we needed to embark upon doing a new thing.
We discussed it, laying down rules as if we were playing a high stakes poker game. I feel not unlike a contestant in the amazing race, and though I've never really watched the show, I feel the comparison is not far off, for what we are doing is in some ways, Amazing. Saving the world, and our pocket books, one grunt and pedal at a time. The rules are simple; if its within riding distance, ride we must. I already here cries of excuses from the grandstands “What distance is too far if the world and its wildlife and our children's futures are at stake?!” (and no, I don't think that's dramatic.) And I call back that there are a LOT of distances too great when you've been called to cross them on a ancient single speed Schwinn whose steely frame weighs as much as a large overfed child. Add onto that the fact that the last time I worked out, expending any particular effort, was in junior high, and I stopped because I got a hernia. And THAT was doing Pilates. I'm an average looking girl, not overweight appearing to any significant degree. My Va just has a bit more O's to its VOOOOM than Dr. Oz's Website says it should. So perhaps we should add another victim to our list of things we're saving, not just the world or our pocket books, but my ass is on the line here too.
Today is day four of our Bike Riding Experiment, and needless to say, the last three days have not been easy. Its not easy to carry groceries home on a bike. Its also not easy to run into your cousin en route on his bike ride and play catch up, while all you're trying to do is play Lets-See-How-Much-Further-I-Can-Go-Before-I-Fucking-Die. (I was excited to see him, don't get me wrong. It had been too long, and plus, now we have something in common. Plus I think he's super cool with his backpack that has the tubey-thing to drink water out of. Like the kid in first grade with the new kicks.) But I'm here now. I'm doing this. And if you want to, you can follow along here; you can live vicariously through Marcos and I, or perhaps (and this is what I'm hoping for) you can know that this life style isn't JUST for the REI crowd with their backpacks with the tubey-things, for young hipsters who look like hobos on purpose. And its not just for Liberal Go Greeners either (although there's nothing wrong with that. I'm a Go Green-er Girl myself). This is for anyone who sees that our way of life is not going to work much longer, on the global scale (BP oil spill anyone?) or a personal scale (mounting debt and obesity?) (or just plain unhealthy, can live beneath my means no matter how hard I try?) Its time to do a new thing. And that's what I, and We, are here to do. I will tell you about my thoughts that accumulate on the bike rides (and there are plenty of those!) I'll also tell you if it gets any easy, and how much harder it becomes before that elusive easy sets in, if it ever does. And To be honest some stuff will probably sneak in that has nothing to do with bike riding, like religion and spiritual beliefs, and that's okay. I'm just along for the ride, to see what I see along the way.