Friday, August 19, 2016

As Easy As.......................

Camping (is living in a Motor Home with all the accoutrements of home, really camping?) in the backwoods of Minnesota has been beautiful.

This state with its thousands of lakes (License Plates boasts 10,000) plentiful with fish, water sports, and winter sports, abundant forests where the tall trees seem to be reaching for the blue skies,  many Nature Trails, hiking and biking trails, Corps of Engineer Campgrounds and private campgrounds nestled in and among the trees – filled with campers of every type.

The almost 50 mile Heartland State Trail established in 1974 was
one of the nation’s first rail corridors to be converted into a hiking/biking trail. The asphalt paved trail follows the shoreline of several of Minnesota’s lakes through forest of towering white pine, spruce, fir and hardwood. In the woods are deer, red fox, porcupine, beaver and some of the largest raccoons I’ve ever seen, in my life!!

This trail is home to many bikers and hikers – and that’s where my problem began. My friend is an avid biker – riding 40, 50 or more miles per day. I, on the other hand, hadn’t been on a bike …..in years….and then, it wasn’t one of those “fancy” bikes that changed speeds ….and it was a girl’s bike!! And, I never wore a racing helmet……in my life.

The die had been cast. It was decided. I must join my friend riding the Heartland Trail. The Bike was removed from the Bike Rack, on the back of the car, and suddenly I was being shown where the speeds were. My question was….”where’s the brake?”

It was a man’s bicycle. There was no putting my leg through….I must lean the bike over and throw my leg over and then try and stand it up.  Do you know how old I am? Do you know how hard that is? The seat was too high. It was lowered. It was still too high. It was lowered, again. It was still too high. When did I get this short?

I was instructed about starting with my right foot and then getting my left foot going….with confidence….(heck, I think I left that in Mississippi)…..and taking off. I wobbled and wobbled and finally got it stopped. I asked…”Why am I wobbling?” I was told….”because you aren’t riding fast enough to keep it upright.”

The last time my hands were this sweaty was when Bob made me drive the RV on Interstate 20…and the semi trucks were passing me. This was a bicycle, for goodness sake. This wasn’t supposed to be a big deal!

It didn’t turn out well. Yes, the bike and I fell….and I wasn’t even moving when it happened!  (That takes a real Pro.)

I was told, “We’ll practice tomorrow….so you can get better, at this.” I worried, for hours, about how was I going to get out of this. My bruises were beginning to have bruises…and I was sore.

This morning, I suggested that I didn’t “need” any broken bones (at my age)….and hiking might be my speed.

As far as I’m concerned….it may be as easy as riding a bike for some of you, but for me….it’s as easy as falling off one!!
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