Spoiler Alert…this post is not “Dave Berry” comedy about cycling in the snow. In fact, this post uses cycling to “take a trip down memory lane.”
Today we rode our bikes for the first time this year and the first time together in over three months. Because of the frigid, Arctic air, the snow flurries, and the need to pump up tires on Eric’s road bike which hasn’t been ridden since we left Malaysia over a year ago, getting onto the bikes was no easy task.
First we had to dress for the weather: a pair wool socks, wool leggings, lined, wind-proof pants, two layers of wool shirts, a down coat, down mitts, a neck scarf, beanie AND and a wool hat, These layers seemed more than adequate when we were exerting energy pumping up the tires in our warm kitchen. But, a quick test ride around the block with cold air attacking our shoes and toes demanded we return home for another pair of wool socks (me) and to exchange the bike shoes for winter boots (Eric).
Most sane people would wonder why we even bothered cycling today. A winter walk would have provided fresh air and exercise. A short drive to a cross-country ski trail would have accomplished the same with the added enjoyment of sipping a creamy hot chocolate while nestled in a toasty, warm yurt surrounded by a deep forest of snow-capped evergreens. In other words, we could have chosen any number of beautiful, outdoor, winter activities but we chose the cold and discomfort of cycling around town. And I think we chose cycling on this bitter cold January day for one simple reason… nostalgia…
Nostalgia for life in our old home and neighborhood. It’s been five years since Eric and I have been together in our house and neighborhood. We needed this time to process memories and say “good-bye” to my favorite house before we sell it.
Nostalgia for our “cycle for retirement.” A short year ago we were three months into our journey of a lifetime and cycling in Vietnam. Life was simple and rewarding. Each day was filled with adventure, discovery, and knowledge. One year later and we’re into the trepidation and indecision of “what to do and where to live.” Our cycle tour was undeniably one of the best decisions we’ve made.But now we both feel we need sell the house and downsize before we embark upon our next adventure.
Nostalgia for our family when the house was filled with kids, chaos and fun. Because Eric was overseas when our youngest left home, our experience of being “empty-nesters” was intertwined with the thrill and challenges of living in new countries. Now I feel like we have to step back a little and both grieve the loss of the family life as we knew it and celebrate the new-found freedom in our own home.
Currently I’m sitting in my favorite, red recliner with my feet propped up. I’m sucking on a See’s Candies chocolate lollipop (a family holiday tradition for longer than I can remember). I’m watching the snow fall. I’m thinking, remembering, relaxing, wondering, being. I don’t have many answers but of one thing, I’m certain. This morning’s winter ride was one of the more important rides we’ll do this year.