“Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near.” – Paulo Coehlo
The summer before I got pregnant with Miss O, I did several long-distance bike trips with my friend, Eric. My first experience with a multi-day trip carrying only what we could stow in the bike packs was a trip where we cycled on a tandem bike from Burlington, Vermont, up into Canada to a small cheesery. Then we cycled back across the border into New York state, along Lake Champlain, rode a ferry across to Vermont, and then finally back to our starting point.
For this trip, I was riding on a tandem bike with Eric – a bike that supposedly Paul Newman once rode – a delightful bit of trivia that didn’t make the beast at all more comfortable. I figured biking was a lot like mountain climbing because it requires leg strength and an endurance mindset. And a sense of humor. Cheryl Oreglia (from the delightful and fun Living in the Gap blog) isn’t exaggerating when she says that everyone’s favorite joke for people on a tandem bike is, “She’s not pedaling.”
On that first day out, we rode for 81.48 miles which was a long day “in the saddle” as cyclists like to call it. When we finally reached our hotel for the night at some city in Vermont, I scooted off the back of the bike like it was on fire. If it wasn’t on fire, then my butt surely was. I followed my delightful teammates up to the registration desk only to find that the hot tub at the hotel was out of order. That was a deal breaker for Carol who was leading this trip.
She said we had to find a new hotel. Envisioning another mile on the bike that day, I think I just about fainted. Fortunately, we found a new place right across the street and I WALKED all the way there. When we went out to dinner, Eric found a metal plate chilling at the salad bar and gave it to me to sit on.
It made for a memorable trip – mostly because I was with a great group of people. But I swear what I remember most is the last half mile of each day as we ground out those last few feet to the blessed places we could rest our bodies for the night. That makes me wonder if I was training for endurance or enjoyment.
It’s the topic of my post for Wise & Shine today: Endurance versus Enjoyment
(all pictures from the bike trip – Vermont – Canada – New York 2014)