Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A year ago today

It isn't exactly a year - at least not anymore - because I ought to have written this Sunday and instead it's Tuesday now. "Real life" seems to have that effect. When I was riding everyday, I found that I had to capture my thoughts every day. If I didn't, they would fade off and my experiences on our trip were in danger of dissipating into the winds behind us. I guess that's true as well for my experiences today, but they don't seem so important and so I don't maintain the discipline of writing daily. Instead I lie awake, thinking, "I ought to write about that" - which is why I am at my keyboard now, at 11:35 pm, instead of heading down to bed. Because I really did want to say something about passing this milestone.

So let's just pretend that I posted this Sunday, April 23, 2017 - and then it would be exactly one year since we started off from our driveway on our great adventure. Our neighbor said "happy anniversary" to me in the morning; I knew it was coming but hadn't yet thought of it that day. Several friends shared the Facebook posts that returned to their feeds, and I enjoyed the reflection on how I had felt when we started our trip a year ago. Monica's little video made me tear up just a bit, remembering the moment we left the house in the early morning.

I was also thinking about how I feel now, after all-but completing the trip. Sometimes Roger and I look at each other and wonder, "did we really do it?" Where is the lasting change? I don't know if I can summon anything up. I had some ideas while I was riding about things I wanted to do differently when I returned home, but I mostly have just slipped back into my old habits and routines. Of course, since the second accident, I haven't ridden much - only just recently have I been ready to climb into the saddle - so that is a pretty big change. Other than that, though, I don't feel very different.  And that makes me a bit sad. I thought maybe that I would.

I know that I am different, though. Our trip has gained us a small measure of notoriety here in town. Yesterday we went downtown for dinner, and while walking about ran into a friend. She asked after us, how we were doing, if we were riding again. Said that she and some friends had been talking about us. And that is definitely something different!  I feel a bit self-conscious about the idea that folks are still so interested in our journey, but it's nice to feel that sense of connection that they had for our effort and our story.

Roger said today that he'd talked to Mel, and our tandem is ready!  The rear third of it was rebuilt by Seven, and Mel did the build up on the other components, and it will ship out and be here within a week or so.  I can't believe it. I've been riding my mountain bike and my single for about three weeks, and I feel pretty good. I don't know if I feel ready to get back on the tandem. I'm a bit nervous about it. But we will take it in small doses, and see how it goes. That's how we did the trip, and it's a pretty reasonable way to approach most things. Go one day at a time, and see how you do. You can always change your mind, your route, your goal.
Take a close look at the front top tube!