|Riding with our friends|
The simplest answer, and one we occasionally used, was and is: "Because we can." But that sounds a bit flippant, perhaps, and we never wanted to be flippant - at least I did not! Maybe Roger has a bit of that streak in him, because he'd sometimes reply, "why not?" And that's a pretty good answer and a bit flippant as well, when you get right down to it.
People would ask if we were traveling with others. No. Were we doing it to raise money, or awareness for some cause? No. We were just riding our bike around the country because we thought it would be a cool thing to do, and because we believed we could do it.
|Being on a bike, I really enjoy watching the clouds|
We'd typically follow that initial exchange with some kind of explanation about how we arrived at our plan to circle the country on a bicycle. And that's a bit longer response: we first did an extended tour about six years ago when we visited our daughter in Tahoe. That trip convinced us that we could handle a trip of several months, which we thought would be long enough to cross the country. And Roger had always thought it would be cool to ride across the country. But we couldn't just go straight across - if we were going to do something like that, we'd want to stop in and see the people we knew. And so the trip across the country because a trip around the country, because we have friends and family all over the place. There wasn't any way that we could go across the northern part of the country and visit with Roger's sister, without also coming around the southern half of the country to see my family. It just wouldn't be right!
So a couple of months, maybe, became half a year or more. That seemed daunting at first, but pretty soon seemed just fine by us. Because a big part of that "because we can" answer has to do with the fact that we are retired, without huge obligations tying us to our home, and financially fortunate enough to be able to essentially take a six month vacation. Once you have dealt with the logistics of leaving for a short while, you can pretty much stay away as long as you like.
I got a bit tickled by folks who were so amazed at what we were doing. Now, I will acknowledge that I'd be impressed as well if someone told me they were going to go on a six month bike trip. It seems, on the face of it, like such a huge effort to undertake. But in the actual doing of it, I came to see it as quite an indulgence, rather than a big job. After all, we were doing something we love to do, without paying a whole lot of attention to any of the normal stress-inducing factors of modern life, and having a good time every day (at least at some portion of it!) It really was an excellent adventure, and we loved it.
|Pie with friends is sweeter|
|We missed our pals at the beer stops also!|
So yesterday, we spent the day riding our borrowed bicycle, out to Bautista Canyon and home again, enjoying a day with friends in the sunshine, punctuated by pie at noon and beer when we got home. And it's reasonable enough to ask of us once again: "Why? Why spend the day riding 90 miles?" And once again we have to use the answers that we've used over and over again this year: "why not?" and "because we can"! They are only the second-best answers, though. The really true, honest-to-God best answer is: "because we love it." We really do.